Iga Swiatek: How a sports activities psychologist helped Polish teenager win her first tennis grand slam

Iga Swiatek: How a sports activities psychologist helped Polish teenager win her first tennis grand slam

The 19-year-old turned the primary participant from Poland to win a grand slam singles title after beating No. 4 seed Sofia Kenin, 6-4 6-1.

Swiatek was unseeded at Roland Garros and, regardless of feeling assured forward of the season, hadn’t been enjoying her greatest within the construct as much as the event.

Nonetheless, she confirmed nerves of metal in storming to victory, turning into the primary feminine to win the French Open with out dropping a set since Justine Henin in 2007.

It was a turnaround in fortunes she partly credit to working with sports activities psychologist Daria Abramowicz, who watched the ultimate from the participant’s field.

The pair have labored collectively for nearly two years and Swiatek has been open about working exhausting on her psychological recreation.

“It is a lengthy course of,” Swiatek advised CNN Sport. “It helped me throughout the entire event particularly after getting back from Covid break.

“We did nice work the previous couple of weeks to decrease my expectations and are available again to fundamentals and simply concentrate on having enjoyable on court docket.

“She helped me lots throughout that course of but additionally she’s serving to me develop as an individual and as a participant.”

READ: Nadal beats Djokovic at French Open for report tying twentieth main
Iga Swiatek celebrates winning the French Open in Paris.

‘Could not imagine it’

Abramowicz travels to main tournaments with {the teenager} but additionally works with elite athletes from lots of Poland’s nationwide groups.

Chatting with the WTA in September, she mentioned the youthful technology of sports activities stars seem extra snug when speaking about their psychological well being.

“With Iga [Swiatek] I actually respect that she’s so conscious at this youthful age,” mentioned Abramowicz. “I do respect that lots and I respect it lots as properly.”

Swiatek served up the right birthday current for her thoughts mentor on Saturday, with Abramowicz tweeting her congratulations after the match.

“It is merely the perfect birthday reward of my life,” she wrote on Twitter.

Regardless of boasting a powerful junior profession — Swiatek received the 2018 Wimbledon juniors — victory in Paris was definitely not anticipated at this stage of her profession.

Her expression after successful championship level confirmed simply how stunned she was.

“I simply could not imagine it,” she mentioned. “Taking part in good tennis, successful grand slams appeared so distant to me, so attaining that’s type of a bizarre feeling and I simply could not imagine it.”

Swiatek pinpointed her fourth-round victory over Simona Halep as a key turning level for the Pole on the French Open.

Halep was in nice type and was absolutely anticipated to progress previous her teenage opponent however Swiatek brushed the Romanian apart in little over an hour.

“Earlier than I had an issue with enjoying beneath stress as a result of I felt nice in practices after which, in a match, all of a sudden my tennis was a bit bit worse,” mentioned Swiatek.

“However on this event, I lastly realized that I can do it and I simply should be mentally ready and have a correct mindset.

“I by no means actually felt that I used to be actually going to win the event as a result of I knew, within the ultimate, I used to be going to play towards an amazing champion.

“After I realized that I used to be fascinated about successful the event I attempted to push these ideas away and simply concentrate on working as a result of I believe it could stress me.”

READ: Tennis gamers complain about new balls at French Open

‘She impressed me’

Swiatek says she struggled to sleep the night time after lifting the trophy and has been overwhelmed by the messages of assist she has acquired.

Crushed males’s finalist Novak Djokovic and Polish soccer star Robert Lewandowski are actually two of her most high-profile followers, whereas Noami Osaka was tweeting her assist all through the ultimate

The pair have turn into shut on tour and Swiatek says the two-time grand slam champion has been a relentless supply of inspiration throughout her fledgling profession.

“She impressed me even earlier than we met as a result of she was one of many ladies that received a grand slam when she was an underdog,” she mentioned.

“I am actually glad we’re texting typically as a result of it is very nice to have somebody who’s so skilled and somebody who can actually assist put together you.”

READ: Serena Williams withdraws from French Open with Achilles damage
Naomi Osaka has become friends with Swiatek on tour.

Father’s affect

Sport runs by Swiatek’s household, along with her father representing Poland in rowing on the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

He was in Paris to look at his daughter raise the trophy and the pair celebrated with the remainder of the household within the participant’s field moments after victory was sealed.

“I believe we’re at all times targeted on work due to him as a result of he had excessive expectations that we had been going to get good grades and we had been going to have good practices,” she mentioned, talking of her father’s affect.

“Generally these expectations will not be a superb factor as a result of they’re stress for a kid however in my case, I believe it actually helped me as a result of I discovered easy methods to be skilled.

“My sister received injured when she was 15 and she or he stopped enjoying tennis however she has an amazing mind and she or he is learning rather well so I believe we’re each going to achieve success.”

Even after successful the French Open, Swiatek hasn’t solely forgotten her research both.

{The teenager} has taken a niche yr out from her tutorial pursuits however says she hasn’t dominated out heading to college sooner or later sooner or later.

“I believe I’ve lots to find out about sure features of life,” she mentioned. “In some unspecified time in the future my mind goes to want one thing apart from tennis. However I do know being a tennis participant means I will be busy.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *