The 2024 WTA season is already in its second month and World No.1 Iga Swiatek recently opened up about the responsibilities that come with being No.1 on the tour.
This season, Swiatek competed at the Australian Open, where she was knocked out in the third round by 19-year-old Linda Noskova. She also participated in the United Cup, representing Poland, where they reached the final but were defeated by Germany.
The 22-year-old spoke to the press on Sunday in Doha at the Qatar Total Energies Open. A reporter asked her if she felt a sense of responsibility for being WTA No. 1 and whether she had plans to share her opinions or approach her ranking in a particular way.
In her response, she stated that she feels like sometimes people expect her to take a stand and be vocal about her positions on rankings. However, she mentioned that she doesn’t always feel comfortable doing that and has consistently conveyed the same message to journalists.
“Well, I feel like people expect us to sometimes take a stand and to be loud about what we think and our opinions. But I always try to remember that if I don’t feel comfortable doing that, I can always just say that and mostly people respect that, journalists, you know, (smiling),” Iga Swiatek said
Iga Swiatek has spent 89 weeks as World No. 1 on the WTA rankings. Last season, she surpassed Caroline Wozniacki’s record of 71 weeks, entering the top 10 on the all-time list.
At the press conference, she added that some responsibilities come with being No. 1, especially when she practices. She feels there’s a certain standard she should maintain, and it’s challenging because everyone is after her.
“But for sure there is some responsibility, even when I’m practicing or working, I feel like because I’m at the top of the WTA I should have some, you know, standards. Sometimes it’s a little bit harder to kind of take it easy, because you feel like everybody is chasing you,” Iga Swiatek said
Iga Swiatek – “I always try to remind myself that I am the same person no matter what my ranking is”
In the same interview, the Pole also stated that she’s still trying to find her feet despite some changes due to her ranking. Nevertheless, she stated that she always tries to remind herself that she’s still the same person, regardless of her ranking.
“But I’m also still trying to navigate through that. Yeah, there are some stuff that’s changed because of the position that you’re at, but on the other hand, I always try to remind myself that I’m still the same person no matter what my ranking is and no matter what the number next to my name is,” She said
Iga Swiatek will face 33-year-old Romanian star Sorana Cîrstea in the second round of the Qatar TotalEnergies Open on Monday, February 12. This will be the third time Swiatek and Cîrstea will face off on the WTA tour. Swiatek won their previous two meetings.