Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai

February 18- March 2, 2024
Dubai Duty Free tennis stadium
February 18- March 2, 2024
Dubai Duty Free tennis stadium
February 18, 2024

Iga Swiatek – Press Conference – 2024 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships

2024 Women's Pre-Tournament: Swiatek

Top seed Iga Swiatek speaks to media ahead of contesting the 2024 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

THE MODERATOR: Congratulations in Doha. A quick turnaround to get here. How has your preparation been and how are you feeling?

IGA SWIATEK: Well, there’s been no preparation because I literally just arrived. But I have the experience from last year playing one practice, then going to the match. I’m not worried about that.

THE MODERATOR: First question.

Q. How do you balance the pressure with the excitement in your life, especially that you’re No. 1, top ranked in the world?

IGA SWIATEK: Well, in my whole life? There’s not much peaceful time, I would say, because there’s always something going on. The tour is really intense. I just try to catch every moment where I have some peace, staying in one place for a longer time, yeah, to find a balance.

But overall I think pretty well.

Q. How does it feel to have a three-peat? Not common in the WTA.

IGA SWIATEK: It’s crazy. Honestly, when I came to Doha, I was thinking a little bit about that. It got my expectations little bit higher and the pressure little bit higher. I’m happy that during the time I played I could focus on the right things and really get the work done.

After it happened, it was just surreal and amazing. So yeah…

Q. Conditions between Doha and Dubai, how different are they? You seem to be super comfortable there, but here it hasn’t always gone your way.

IGA SWIATEK: Well, last year was fine. From what I remember, the surface was a little bit faster. Honestly, that’s the only year I remember because the year before I lost against Jelena. It was a fast match, so I don’t remember a lot.

I would say the weather conditions are different. Probably it’s less humid in the evening. But I don’t think it matters, honestly.

Q. What can you tell us about the challenges in the Dubai championship? It’s a 1000 series, the top eight seeds play.

IGA SWIATEK: You know, because of the rules that we have right now, everything is mandatory for us. The tournaments are going to be packed. You’re not going to get any easy draw or anything. You just have to be ready. If you want to win a tournament, you have to win against the best in the world anyway.

I don’t think there’s a huge difference between this tournament and the others. I’m just going to take it easy, step by step, see how it’s going to look like after a couple of days.

Q. At this young age, how do you manage to cope with such a tournament and can we see the eighth win this tournament?

IGA SWIATEK: You would see everything, so…

I’ll just focus on the first match. I mean, the pressure is always there. It’s part of the job. I wouldn’t say it’s bigger. I mean, that’s the place I’m in my career. I have no comparison to any other place, so I don’t know if the pressure is high or low. It’s there because it’s always there in sports.

I’m dealing with it fine, so I guess it’s okay.

Q. You mentioned it’s a short turnaround time from Doha to Dubai. Does it run in the back of your mind how quickly you have to recover, get some rest? Are you sometimes thinking there’s a possibility of injury as well, given how short the time span is?

IGA SWIATEK: For sure, it feels like we have to kind of rush it little bit. Last year it was similar. Even though Doha was a smaller tournament, one match less, I was able to manage. I think that was the second time also after Indian Wells, Miami where I didn’t have much time to recover. I just played another tournament straightaway.

Well, there’s always possibility for injury. There’s no point in professional sports to overthink it or try to see the future ’cause I’m well-prepared physically.

Yeah, it also depends what the intensity of the matches will be. In Doha, I would say the final was pretty intense, but the other matches I had under control. It’s not like I played three-setters.

Q. I doubt that you follow at all women’s basketball. In America, All-Star games, pro games, they have these things called ‘skills challenges’: three-point challenge, dunk. I’m curious, if you could create one in tennis, what would you be curious to know in terms of taking the top-10 players, have them sprint, serve, whatever it is? What would you see as a skills challenge in tennis?

IGA SWIATEK: What do I want to see in terms of results?

Q. Event or results.

IGA SWIATEK: For sure we already kind of have that with serve. Serve is the motion that is uninterrupted. It’s easy to see what they do, how many aces they do and everything.

I would say I would do, like, I don’t know, maybe how precise the players are when they get tired in terms of the heart rate and everything. Also, I don’t know, you can measure a lot of things. I don’t know what I would separate.

Yeah, I mean, the only thing that comes to my mind is having like precision. I don’t think I would be good at it, though (smiling).

Q. You wouldn’t be good at precision?

IGA SWIATEK: Well, I am, but it’s not like aiming this kind of square on court. It’s more like I am aiming the whole area, so yeah.

Q. After a monumental season like last year, do you see events like Dubai a case of unfinished business?

IGA SWIATEK: You mean right now?

Q. In the sense of getting to the final last year, had an amazing season. When you come back, is there a case of wanting to go one better? Is there a mentality piece of unfinished business at all?

IGA SWIATEK: Not really. It’s a different year. I feel differently. A lot has happened since. It’s a different tournament. No reason to come back to what happened last year, yeah.

Q. You’re a super hero to come for one week again.

IGA SWIATEK: It’s our life, so… But thanks.

Q. To stay on top for a long time, stay consistent as No. 1, it requires a lot of hard work. Can this No. 1 in the world be a distraction? Does social media distract you sometimes? Do you get distracted sometimes?

IGA SWIATEK: I would say I’m doing good job, like, separating that. I don’t use really social media during the tournaments. I just post my stuff and that’s all.

For sure, when I go on social media when I’m not playing tournaments, yeah, it can distract a person. I would say also when you start making successes, having successes, it’s easy to focus on the business part of the sport and forget what you are actually here to do, the work that you should put.

I remember after I won my first Roland Garros, like two months I really was going the wrong path. The practices weren’t a priority in my schedule, in my head, you know? I remember my team had to kind of push me right back on the right path.

I think, yeah, social media and Internet can distract you, and this business side of sport, if you don’t balance it well.

Q. On the All-Star team, if you would pick All-Stars to play a basketball game with you from the tour, who would you pick?

IGA SWIATEK: Oh, my God. But men’s and…

Q. Whatever you want. Mixed.

IGA SWIATEK: I don’t really watch this. I don’t really watch NBA.


Q. They bring people from every different team.

IGA SWIATEK: Really, I don’t know f the best NBA players. They just make a team?

Q. Yes. Like the celebrities?

IGA SWIATEK: Yes (laughter). I’m European. I don’t watch NBA (smiling).

Well, I would say me, Aryna, Novak, Sinner, Alcaraz, Elena and Ons. I mean, that’s the obvious answer. And Rafa, yeah.

Q. Following up on the previous reply about intensity in the game. Rybakina and Sabalenka, what’s the difference when you face each of them?

IGA SWIATEK: Well, their game. They’re playing differently. That’s the main difference you focus on when you go on a match because you have your tactics and everything and you have to be ready.

That’s all I would say because they are both really intense. You really have to be on or toes and ready, let them play their game because they’re going to use it.

They’re really good, both of them. As you can see, we all have pretty tight matches against each other. I feel like the level is pretty high and it’s good.

I wouldn’t say there’s much difference in terms of the mindset and the focus when I play against each of them.


IGA SWIATEK: Thank you.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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