Indian Wells (USA), Mar 9 (IANS): Iga Swiatek of Poland revealed that becoming the No.1-ranked tennis player in the world was something that so over her expectations as it comes with a lot of pressure.
Last year on April 4, Swiatek ascended to the No.1 ranking with the retirement of Ashleigh Barty. She dominated from that lofty spot and currently holds a 4,485-point advantage over No.2-ranked Aryna Sabalenka, the 2023 Australian Open champion.
"I thought it was not possible. It's something that is so over my expectations. It's a place where anyone wants to be. But for sure, it comes with a lot of pressure and expectations," Swiatek told reporters at Indian Wells.
Swiatek had a sensational season last year that saw her win a total of eight titles -- including two of the four majors -- and snap off a 37-match winning streak. The 21-year-old is finding those outside expectations are leaking into her personal cocoon.
"After Doha and Dubai, I felt it pretty strongly. Because I won a WTA 500 and was in the final of 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, ‘Ooooh, that's not enough," Swiatek said.
The Pole further said she'll be focusing on the in-season WTA Tour's Race to the WTA Finals.
"I want to stick to not coming back to what happened last year. Every tournament is a different story. Honestly, if I play well, I'll be high in the rankings. So I'm pretty sure I'm not going to defend all the points, but it doesn't mean that I'm not going to stay at No.1."