Iga Swiatek admits feeling the weight of expectations

Iga Swiatek celebrates Credit: Alamy
Iga Swiatek celebrates Credit: Alamy

World no 1 Iga Swiatek says that she is feeling the pressure brought on by expectations.

Swiatek feels that pressure both internally and from others who she feels she might have let down.

The top-ranked woman says that she now has a target on her back and every players she faces is determined to get a win over the world no 1.

She feels that those around her and the fans and media expect a lot more of her this year than they did at the same point of the season in 2022.

Swiatek begins her Indian Wells title defence on Friday.

She will play the winner of the first round clash between Claire Liu and Anna Schmiedlova.

Swiatek won the title at the Qatar Open in Doha but couldn’t follow that up with victory in the championship match in Dubai.

The Pole was well beaten by former French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova.

“After Doha and Dubai, I felt it [the expectation] pretty strongly,” Swiatek said according to Eurosport.

“Because I won a WTA 500 and was in the final of a 1000 – it was like a small streak of matches that were pretty solid and I was really composed.

“But, still, I lost in the final and people were, I don’t know, surprised, not happy with the performance, just critical.

“And it made me think that last year before this huge streak and before winning all these tournaments I would be so happy with this result. But with all these comments right now, I felt like, ‘oh, that’s not enough’.”

Swiatek joined an elite group of players who have won the Sunshine double last season.

However, she is in a completely different headspace as the favourite.

“I feel like there’s a target on my back a little bit, which I didn’t feel last year,” Swiatek said.

“It’s a different situation, and I have to adjust to that. So I’m trying not to read a lot of these things. I don’t want it to influence me because I’m happy with all the work I’ve done.

“This is the example of how people’s attitudes changed a little bit – and I don’t think it’s a positive change – but for me for sure there is more pressure and expectations because of that.

“But I’m trying to [cope with] that in the best way possible. I think I’m doing good.”

READ MORE: Iga Swiatek needs to adjust to being No 1 says former rankings queen

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