Iga Swiatek is hopeful she will be able to handle the pressure of being the overwhelming favourite to win the French Open for a second time.
When the Pole scythed through the draw in 2020 to claim her first grand slam title she was a largely unknown quantity but, 19 months on, Swiatek has established herself as the leading force in the women’s game following the shock retirement of Ashleigh Barty.
The 20-year-old goes into the year’s second grand slam having won her last five tournaments dating back to February.
Her winning streak has lasted 28 matches so far, most of which have been straight sets.Instead of viewing it in terms of the expectation on her shoulders, Swiatek is taking confidence from her form and appreciating what she has already achieved.
“I’m aware that this streak is something that may be coming to an end soon so I don’t want to be heartbroken when it’s going to happen,” she said. “I think being aware of that is pretty healthy.
“So I’m just going to again take it match by match, as I did on previous tournaments, and we’ll see. I don’t mind because I already have so many points and I’m pretty happy with the last tournaments. I think this season is already a success for me“I proved to myself and to other people that I can be at the top of the game and before I wasn’t feeling that much confidence so this year I feel much more peace.
“I haven’t played a grand slam since the streak started so I guess we’re going to see if everything I have been doing before is going to be enough. But I have really positive thoughts.
“A couple of times during all these tournaments I was already stressed about that, and I was able to work through it and do a really good job by just focusing on tennis. So hopefully I’m going to be able to continue that.