STUTTGART, Germany -- Iga Swiatek is back in her happy place at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. The World No.1 is the two-time defending champion at the Porsche-Arena and was the picture of peace and excitement after her first practice of the season on clay. 

"I'm happy to be back on this surface," Swiatek told reporters at Media Day in Stuttgart. "Obviously I really like it and I missed it. It's nice to be back.

"Also I love this tournament. I have really great memories. Hopefully I'm going to create some more memories this year."

Champions Reel: How Iga Swiatek won Stuttgart 2023

Swiatek has more than just memories from this tournament, where she is a perfect 8-0. She also has the two Porsches she's won. And unlike regular tournament trophies, these aren't gathering much dust at home. 

"When I'm practicing a lot and I'm tired, I like to have peace in my car," Swiatek said. "I really like how comfortable the Panamera is. Really, I mean, sometimes I'm putting loud music, but overall it's pretty quiet, pretty smooth. Still you can feel the sporty vibe.

"Sometimes I like to drive a little bit faster, but not too crazy. Obviously I have so much adrenaline on the court that sometimes I don't need any more off the court. I also have 911 at home. When I want to mix it up, I jump into the 911."

At that point in her answer, Swiatek laughed. Even she had to acknowledge how ridiculous this embarrassment of riches sounded.

"Sorry, it sounds weird," Swiatek said, "but I'm pretty proud of how I played during these past years here in Stuttgart. It's amazing we can have such a prize for winning. Pretty crazy."

On Monday, the three-time Roland Garros champion looked at ease as she practiced in the shadow of the lavender Porsche Taycan 4S Sport Turismo that awaits this year's tournament champion. Swiatek arrived in Stuttgart on Saturday after delivering Poland into the Billie Jean King Cup Finals. Playing on indoor hard courts in Switzerland, Swiatek went 2-0 over the weekend to close out her spring hard-court season. 

"I felt today that I can do the transition pretty quickly," Swiatek said. "I'm not expecting that I'm going to feel comfortable from my first match because you always need some matches to just gain confidence on any surface, even if you feel comfortable on it."

After a first-round bye, Swiatek will begin her quest for a three-peat against Belgium's Elise Mertens. She is bidding to become the first player to sweep the event in three consecutive years since Maria Sharapova did so a decade ago. She is an outstanding 63-9 on clay in her career, a winning percentage of 87.5 percent. The next best percentage among active players? Simona Halep at 72.9 percent.

Swiatek is checking off statistical milestones on a near-weekly basis, and this week is no exception. As the clay season begins, Swiatek is spending her 99th week at World No.1, passing Lindsay Davenport to sit at No.9 on the all-time list. She will celebrate her centennial week during the Mutua Madrid Open.

"Honestly, yeah, this is one of these stats actually [that make me sit up and take notice]," Swiatek said. "I think overall, that I'm in the Top 10 of all time in terms of weeks at No. 1, I wouldn't expect that ever a couple of years back."

Cumulative Weeks at World No.1:

1. Stefanie Graf: 377
2. Martina Navratilova: 332
3. Serena Williams: 319
4. Chris Evert: 260
5. Martina Hingis: 209
6. Monica Seles: 178
7. Ashleigh Barty: 121
8. Justine Henin: 117
9. Iga Swiatek: 99 (as of April 15)
10. Lindsay Davenport: 98

The key to Swiatek's remarkable reign has been not getting ahead of herself. That does not change as she looks to defend her clay-court supremacy. Her half of the draw is littered with players who have caused her problems in the past, including Jelena Ostapenko, Linda Noskova, Barbora Krejcikova, Ekaterina Alexandrova and World No.4 Elena Rybakina. 

"Even for a player who is feeling really comfortable, I feel like you need a couple of days anyway," Swiatek said. "Last year I was coming back from injury. I practiced in Warsaw on clay. This year is more similar to 2022 because back then I also played Billie Jean King Cup and I also had only, like, two days on clay before my first match. We'll see. Honestly, it's my second year when I have a situation like that.

"It was a nice experience in 2022. I remember I played with no expectations. This year is a little bit different with you guys reminding me about defending the title. I'll try to take it easy and step by step no matter what."

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