World number one Iga Swiatek admitted she had her doubts about playing on clay courts when she arrived in Stuttgart last week.
The Pole arrive in Germany having won consecutive titles in Doha, Indian Wells and Miami to cement her status as the best player in the world.
Playing in her first event on clay since the 2021 French Open, she lifted her fourth consecutive title after beating Aryna Sabalenka 6-2 6-2 in the final.
That victory means Swiatek has won her last 23 matches on all surfaces.
Speaking on the WTA Insider Podcast after her latest success, she admitted she had her doubts about the event before arriving in Stuttgart, having playing played on faster surfaces for the best part of the last 12 months.
“Basically the last time I played on clay was a year ago, so I wasn’t sure how well I was going to transition and whether I could actually do it in two days,” she said.
“Before the first match I think I spent two hours on court. I always heard that this surface is tricky and it’s weird and different than any other.
“So that’s why I had most of my doubts, basically.
“I’m pretty proud of myself that during the tournament I was able to adjust and to learn, because before it wasn’t that easy.
“Right now I feel like during I can learn a lot so it’s just more peaceful at the beginning because I can trust my skills and my abilities a little bit more.”
Another question posed to her suggested she was playing on “autopilot” on the back of her huge success over the past two months.
“Not really. Today it was a good day for me to be in the zone and be really focused, but yesterday I felt like I need to put more and more work in every game to stay focused,” she explained.
“So yesterday I didn’t feel I was on autopilot because every day is different. You wake up and you can feel that. Many thoughts are running through your head and you know it’s going to be harder to stay focused.”
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