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Iga Swiatek

October 22, 2020

“I am only 19 years old so nothing special has happened in my life. Growing up, I played tennis because I had a lot of energy as a kid. Tennis was a chance for me to be alone on the court and make my own decisions. I loved winning and was good at it. But I did not fall in love with tennis right away because I did not know how much it could bring to my life. At age 15, I played my first junior Grand Slam, the French Open. This was the first time I wanted to be a professional tennis player. I was the top-ranked player in Poland but didn't know if I was mentally or physically ready to play professionally. We do not have many players in my country so I was not around experienced players who could teach me how to make it on tour. I had to find my own way.⁣

People are often not aware of how much pressure we have as tennis players. For me, pressure has always come from inside. I always wanted to work with a psychologist. I realized my personal life affects my performance. I started working on non-tennis things and focused on my relationship with my parents. I realized my on-court performance would improve when I settle off-court things. The mental aspect often is the difference between winning and losing a match. We are alone on the court and alone on the plane. It's important to have someone you can trust. ⁣

School is a big part of my life. I graduated high school a few weeks ago. The pandemic gave me time to do well on my final exams. It was hard to study while playing on tour because I am ambitious and want to do everything perfectly. My psychologist helped me realize I don't have to do everything perfectly. I might go to college within the next few years. It depends on my tennis career because if I win a Grand Slam next year and become a Top 5 player, I don't think I'm going to have time. ⁣

The most important thing is to maintain a positive state of mind and focus on mental health because we have to deal with many things such as injuries and risking our own health sometimes. I want to raise awareness about tennis in Poland and do charity work to help kids achieve their dreams. I have many ideas but have not had the guts to act on them yet.”

@iga.swiatek #BTR
 

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