Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai
Iga Świątek press conference on Day 2 of WTA Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, Dubai, UAE, Monday, 20th February, 2023.
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. If you had a conversation with your younger self about your career, what would you tell yourself?
IGA SWIATEK: For sure I would tell myself that it’s possible and that I’m actually going to do even more than I expect, that I dream about.
I think I would give myself a little bit more of the belief maybe, and inspiration. When I was younger, it was all about just tennis, school, and there wasn’t much perspective. I always watched WTA. I thought this is, like, totally different place.
Maybe I would tell myself that I’m going to be at that place pretty soon.
Q. Can you compare the conditions from Doha to here? How is it different? How do you plan to approach Dubai?
IGA SWIATEK: Usually it’s much drier. I remember last year the courts were very fast. Truth to be told, I didn’t play any practice yet, so I don’t know.
I think looking at weather conditions, the weather is more similar to Doha this year. We’ll see. I don’t know about the courts.
I’m pretty happy that this year finally we have the same balls, Australian Open Dunlop, because every year we had to adjust and change the ball every week, which was pretty stupid for me (smiling).
Right now it makes sense.
Q. As a complete amateur I’m asking you this. When you say there’s a difference in the ball, what do you mean?
IGA SWIATEK: Well, right now there is the same.
Q. But earlier…
IGA SWIATEK: I think in Doha we used Australian Open Dunlop. Here we had US Open, the women’s type. It was really light and it was flying like crazy. The Australian Open Dunlop is more bouncy, I would say. It is dynamic, but it’s not flying without control. That’s what I felt when I played with the US Open one. It’s just my opinion, though.
Q. In Doha you didn’t drop a single set. What came together for your game to achieve that high level?
IGA SWIATEK: I really used the time after Australian Open properly and I could reset, focus just on working on my technique. And mentally also kind of, yeah, reset, as I said.
I just remember that, I don’t know, I just learned a lesson on my last match in Australia. I realize I have to, like, energetically be there on court and run a little bit more, give more.
In Doha I was able to do that.
Q. A bit of a surface switch. This is DecoTurf. How comfortable are you on this surface?
IGA SWIATEK: This one?
IGA SWIATEK: I don’t know yet. I hear that it’s different than last year, so I don’t really know. We’ll see. I don’t know because I haven’t practiced yet.
Q. You had an excellent 2022. What happened in January?
IGA SWIATEK: January last year?
Q. This January.
IGA SWIATEK: It was the beginning of the season. My pre-season was pretty intense on court and also off court.
Well, I don’t know. I still feel like I did a really good job in United Cup before the travel day that we had. I was playing really, really solid matches. On Australian Open, as well. I played against Elena, and she totally deserved to win. She went to the final later. For sure she was in a good shape.
What do you mean like ‘what happened’? That’s exactly what happened.
Q. Will you be third time lucky in Dubai?
IGA SWIATEK: I don’t know. We’ll see.
Q. Some players this year are speaking about the new tennis, the new way of playing. What about you? Is tennis changing this year with the new balls, new way of serving?
IGA SWIATEK: With the new way of serving?
IGA SWIATEK: I didn’t change my serve.
Q. Some players are speaking this year the tennis is changing. Is it?
IGA SWIATEK: Well, if they want to change their tennis, then go ahead. I mean, I feel comfortable with mine, so…
Q. The way they are playing, is it a change comparing with previous? Has it evolved basically?
IGA SWIATEK: Well, comparing to last year, it’s pretty similar. I don’t get it.
Q. Other players are changing. Is it affecting your play?
IGA SWIATEK: Which players?
Q. Sabalenka is speaking about it.
IGA SWIATEK: She’s working on herself. We all do that, so…
There are going to be changes, but it’s not affecting me. I mean, unless we’re going to play a match against each other, maybe it’s going to be tougher if she got her level up.
Q. It is a long, grueling season. You seem to have peaked already. How can you sustain this level of play heading into the slams?
IGA SWIATEK: Well, I don’t think I peaked because there are, like, many pretty nice tournaments that I like, like Rome, Roland Garros, basically whole clay season.
I wouldn’t say that I peaked. I just got my level up comparing to Australia, that’s all.
Q. What did you read in the off-season and what are you reading now? You spoke last year about wanting to see new places or, in the places you go to, have new experiences. Did you manage to do any of that last year?
IGA SWIATEK: Last year actually was the first year that I managed to, like, yeah, I don’t know, not spend all my time thinking about tennis. I went to some really nice places.
I basically stayed after tournaments for a couple of days in Australia, in Miami. In Paris maybe, I don’t know (smiling). But it was really nice.
For sure this year I want to continue that because it gives me a lot of, yeah, perspective. I know we’re traveling all the time, but for us it’s more work. It’s nice also to travel for fun a little bit, to see the world.
I read there is like two books from Italian author, ‘Lions of Sicily’ basically. It’s pretty nice. This was the best book I think I read in a while.
Q. They’re saying you could be the next dominant player in women’s tennis. Do you think you can live up to that title?
IGA SWIATEK: I think last season was already pretty dominant, so yeah.
Q. Have you changed your playlist on your iPod? Your love for AC/DC, Led Zeppelin.
IGA SWIATEK: I did change a little bit, but it’s still rock. It’s still, like, Red Hot Chili Peppers, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin.
Q. It still works, motivating you?
IGA SWIATEK: Yes.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports