This week, Iga Swiatek is back where her incredible streak began last year, in Doha. While she ascended to the throne after Ashleigh Barty’s retirement, it was from this tournament that the Polish woman’s real rise began. Winning her fourth trophy, the world’s No. 1 player went on to win no less than 37 consecutive matches and six titles in a row. This historic run was finally halted at Wimbledon by Alizé Cornet, after more than five months without defeat. So naturally, expectations are high for the queen of the WTA circuit. If the Australian tour did not go exactly as she had hoped, will Swiatek be able to regain the form that propelled her to the top and allowed her to dominate the circuit?
“I’m not really focused on defending titles, I feel like every year is a different story, every tournament is a different story. It doesn’t make sense to me to think about last year’s tournament and compare it to this year’s tournament and think it’s the same story. It’s not, in one year a lot can happen. There are so many games to win and so many obstacles to overcome that I just want to focus on the next step, my next game. I don’t want to block out what happened last year. I accept it, I even know I’ll go back to everything that happened in 2022 myself sometimes, but I want to change those thoughts and start thinking about the future, I don’t want to compare all the time because it’s not helpful.”
Beaten in the round of 16 in Melbourne, the Pole felt the need to disconnect. “What I needed was to reboot a bit. I know I didn’t do well at the Australian Open, throughout my time in Australia. I wanted to focus on lowering my expectations, not expecting to play perfectly every time. Last season was weird, it can get a little confusing in your head, so what I want to do is get my feet on the ground, focus on my work. The volume of training has been pretty high, so I’ve had time to focus on technical things as well to improve as a player.” Seeded No. 1, Swiatek will face the winner of the match between Danielle Collins and a qualifier.
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