Who is Iga Swiatek’s father? Former Olympic rower Tomasz Swiatek has played major role in world No 1’s incredible career

Shahida Jacobs
Iga Swiatek with her father Tomasz Swiatek
Iga Swiatek with her father Tomasz Swiatek

There was a lovely father and daughter moment after Iga Swiatek won her fifth Grand Slam title as Tomasz gently pulled his daughter’s nose after a long hug.

It was no doubt something he had done a million times over the past 23 years, almost as if to say “well done my little girl!”

Tomasz Swiatek has been an ever-present figure in his daughter’s tennis career, but admitted earlier in 2024 that life had not always been easy as at times he feared they might have to give up on their dreams.

“It has long been known that Iga has a gift for playing. However, there were obstacles along the way, including an injury in 2017. Then everything was hanging in the balance,” he revealed to TVP in Poland.

Tomasz added: “There was a moment when I was against the wall financially. When I explained to Iga that there might come a time when we would have to stop training, I was convinced to try again. There was a moment when I earned enough money to earn my bread and butter, but there was nothing extra thanks to which I could afford additional financing.”

But the Swiatek family toughed it out and eventually the tide turned as by 2020 Swiatek became a household name in tennis.

Shortly after winning her maiden Grand Slam at the French Open, Swiatek choked up during the presentation ceremony, saying: “He gave us everything … I’m sorry, it’s hard to say. But I love him.”

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But who is Swiatek’s father, Tomasz Swiatek?

Iga Swiatek was born on May 31, 2001 in Warsaw, Poland, to Dorota and Tomasz Swiatek. She has an older sister, Agatha, and her father took an active role early on as he wanted both his daughters to take up a sport and both opted for tennis, but Iga was the one who ended up going professional.

Dorota and Tomasz divorced when Iga was in her teens, but before that Tomasz was always keen to steer his daughters into professional sport and it is no surprise given his own career.

He represented Poland in rowing at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul and finished seventh in the men’s quadruple sculls.

But his success in Polish sport has been far and wide as he received the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta in 2020 “for sports achievements, for promoting Poland in the international arena”.

What was more impressive was that he and Iga were honoured at a joint ceremony as his daughter received a Gold Cross of Merit shortly after she won her maiden Grand Slam at Roland Garros.

Tomasz initially wanted his children to follow in his footsteps and take up a water sport, but Iga wasn’t keen.

“I was scared of water so tennis was much better for me,” she said in early 2020.

Although she settled on playing tennis, it wasn’t her “dream” to become a professional, but her father again played a crucial role.

“At the beginning, I didn’t dream of being a professional tennis player,” she told The Players’ Tribute in early 2023.

“That was my dad’s dream then. He wanted his daughters to do sports, to be active and maybe someday become athletes. I remember when I was ten (and a little more extroverted), I’d want to stay after school and play football with the other kids rather than training tennis. My dad would come looking for me at school shouting, “Igaaaa, come here!!!’

“There were many moments where I didn’t want to push myself at tennis, so he did. He was always there, believing in me. He taught me how to be a professional, and have discipline and regularity. It was something he gave me to use in sport and in life. It wasn’t that he was super tough. But he was strict about practices and healthy routines in a way that, when I look back on it, I’m grateful for. My dad was that voice in my head that was always leading me the right way.”

Iga Swiatek shakes hands with her father Tomasz Swiatek
Iga Swiatek with her father Tomasz Swiatek

And Tomasz continues to play a crucial role in the five-time Grand Slam winner’s career, but now instead of worrying about finances and whether or not he is able to pay for his daughter’s coaching, he has the luxury of picking out which Porsche his daughter drives.

After winning the 2023 Stuttgart Open where the winner is awarded a Porsche, Iga revealed that her father would be the one to choose her car.

“Thank you to my family as well, my dad he is going to choose the car, probably. If he chooses wrong it’s his fault, but it’s impossible to choose the wrong Porsche,” she joked.

Rich reward for both Iga and Tomasz for the fruits of their labour.