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 23, 2024

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

2024 Women's Singles QF: I. SWIATEK/Zheng Qinwen 6-3, 6-2
Iga Swiatek

Iga Swiatek

THE MODERATOR: Iga, congratulations. Back-to-back semifinals here in Dubai. Give us your overall thoughts on your performance today.

IGA SWIATEK: Well, I’m happy that I played well, stuck to my tactics, was pretty solid. For sure I feel better and better every day here.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You’ve played her six times since mid 2022. You have a bit of a similar thing with Coco where you’re always facing each other. Is that a good thing for you? Is it annoying? Do you not care?

IGA SWIATEK: Honestly, I don’t mind. Obviously I’ve been doing well in these matches, so it’s kind of normal that two good players are going to face each other sooner or later if they play well. I don’t mind.

Q. How do you describe the matchup against her? What’s the challenging part for you?

IGA SWIATEK: Well, she has great power, great topspin. You have to be ready for that. Yeah, she wants to really be proactive, so you have to keep up with the intensity. I’ve been doing that during our matches.

Q. In terms of again talking about adjusting to the court, when you get to Dubai, play Indian Wells, Miami, you have to adjust to a quicker court, is the focus on footwork, where you’re standing in the court? Is it hand speed? What is the first thing you focus on?

IGA SWIATEK: I would say just the bounce, the most obvious thing (smiling). It depends how I feel. Sometimes I play differently because I know that different shots will make impact. I would say that.

My footwork usually is the same. Maybe on a slower court you have more time to prepare before the shot. But honestly it’s not like I need to focus on that because if my brain is going to pick up that the bounce is a little bit quicker, then the body will go after that automatically.

Q. Something you did very well today and in general is being very clutch when you need to. I want to know how big of a trait do you think that is in your game? How much would you give how good you are to how clutch you are?

IGA SWIATEK: You mean ‘clutch’ like…

Q. Today, for example, you would get one chance on a serve and you would immediately do it. The other day in the match at 4-All, this is when you decided to make a move.

IGA SWIATEK: Yeah, but on the other hand against Sloane I had many break points that I didn’t convert.

Q. Big picture, not necessarily just this tournament, do you see yourself as clutch?

IGA SWIATEK: Yeah, I think I can really play well under pressure and in those important moments.

I guess it’s maybe the decision making. For sure, like, mentally I treat those shots the same way as any other shot in the match. I don’t feel, like, extra pressure. I just feel like it’s any other point which gives me freedom to do anything, honestly.

Q. Back-to-back semifinals here in Dubai. Do you finally start to feel confident and think that this is your title now, given that other players have dropped out or…

IGA SWIATEK: I’m in the semifinal, so I don’t think anybody would say it’s their title when they’re in the middle of the tournament.

Q. On the back-to-back, what is the unique challenge of Doha-Dubai, playing these two, going deep, trying to win back-to-back titles?

IGA SWIATEK: The challenge is playing two tournaments in a row, not having time to adjust, like, in a peaceful way. But I wouldn’t say it’s much different than other tournaments that you play, like Rome-Madrid, Indian Wells-Miami. Maybe it’s different because you have few matches in a row. On these other tournaments, you have some days off.

Honestly, I don’t mind. I kind of like it. I’ve been away from home for, like, two weeks, a small period of time for us. I already play so much, I am actually happy we have this kind of system. So yeah…

On the other hand, if we would have to play, like, seven times these two tournaments in a row, not having days off, probably would get too tired. Now, at the beginning of the season, I feel like it’s a perfect schedule for me.

Q. Talk about your potential opponents: Coco and Anna Kalinskaya?

IGA SWIATEK: Against Kalinskaya, for sure we’re going to prepare tactically. I don’t know if we played…

Q. Don’t know.

IGA SWIATEK: Usually you know better than me (smiling).

I’ll just focus on myself, as usual, what I want to do on court.

Against Coco, the same. But we know each other’s games. It’s always tricky choosing the right weapons because you think what she’s thinking about, this kind of stuff. Honestly, it’s always challenging and fun to play against her.

I feel like I can play without any expectation ’cause she’s a great player and you just have to do your best, that’s all.

Q. We were talking with Coco the other day about the challenging part of speaking up, using your voice, saying things. As the world No. 1 you get asked about so many things. Do you find it difficult that you’re put in that position? Do you want to be in that position? Is it hard if you’re worried about backlash about saying something?

IGA SWIATEK: Yeah, but honestly I’ve never had any situation where I said something bad. I feel like I’m good in terms of being diplomatic. Still you need to be ready because sometimes – I’m not talking about you guys – but sometimes journalists, they want to pick up one sentence that’s going to make up the story from nothing.

I mean, for sure I would say it wasn’t the case many years before where the social media and the Internet wasn’t everywhere. Now we have to kind of also prepare for that, which isn’t really our job. On the other hand, now it became part of the job. You just have to accept it.

For sure sometimes it’s not comfortable and sometimes we wish we would have more peace and we wouldn’t have to carry the whole world on our shoulders.

Honestly, sometimes we get asked about stuff, I know that we are top players, tennis players in the world, but it’s not like we have impact on everything. Sometimes it just feels like really people are looking for a story rather than it changes something.

On the other hand, there are many topics that I want to and chose to speak up. It’s always nice when it’s our decision because we know how much we can handle.

Q. Aryna Sabalenka was saying before the tournament when we asked her what she makes about the first two months of the season, she says it’s nice to see the top players winning, it’s a collective group, and she has pride seeing the top players or her doing that. Do you relate at all to that perspective?

IGA SWIATEK: Well, I think we are past the times where everybody said that WTA is inconsistent. It’s nice because we’ve been working hard to do that. Yeah, I mean, I wasn’t really focusing much on the bigger picture. It just happened that some players are consistent.

I think it’s good because it makes great rivalries. I totally understand why some players win tournaments and some not because I play against them and I can feel how they play.

I wouldn’t say it surprises me, but for sure it’s nice to have just other players competing well and doing well.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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