Iga Swiatek reveals she ‘couldn’t sleep’ at tournament which was ‘very difficult emotionally’

Ewan West
Iga Swiatek at the 2024 Miami Open
Iga Swiatek reacts during a match

Iga Swiatek has divulged the time in her career when she felt the most overwhelmed as she recalled that she “couldn’t even sleep” during the 2021 French Open. 

The world No 1 described her campaign at Roland Garros three years ago as “very difficult emotionally”, while asserting she now has solutions to this and vowed not to “make the same mistakes again.”

At the 2021 French Open, Swiatek had to contend with the experience of defending a Grand Slam title for the first time in her career, having won her maiden major at the 2020 edition of the event.

The Pole, who was the eighth seed at the clay-court major, was the favourite to defend her title at Roland Garros after a stunningly dominant 2020 title run — during which she dropped only 28 games.

Having reached the 2021 quarter-finals without losing a set, though, Swiatek fell to a surprisingly decisive 4-6, 4-6 defeat to 17th seed Maria Sakkari.

READ MORE: Iga Swiatek getting better at pushing the reset button

During an interview at the 2021 Miami Open, three-time French Open winner Swiatek highlighted her first major title defence when asked about moments she has felt overwhelmed.

“At Roland Garros 2021, I arrived as the reigning champion, a Grand Slam tournament where I really did not expect to achieve something so important. It wasn’t easy at all,” the 22-year-old explained.

“I remember I couldn’t even sleep. Now I have solutions to solve this kind of problem. This tournament was very difficult emotionally. I won’t make the same mistakes again.”

Following her battling three-set third round win over Linda Noskova in Miami on Sunday, Swiatek played down talk about winning the Sunshine Double as she did after her Indian Wells triumph.

“As you can see, it’s not like we can take everything for granted. You can be in trouble at the early stages of the tournament,” the four-time Grand Slam champion said.

“No sense to talk about Sunshine Double. For sure, I’m taking just experience from this match and I know what I have to focus on little bit more because it wasn’t like I felt 100 per cent comfortable all the time.

“I mean, I thought it’s going to be easier to get used to the new conditions and new balls, but it’s been tricky today. I want to use this experience.

“I’m pretty sure tomorrow I’m going to do that if everything goes well. Usually also these kinds of things just settle in my head on their own. I’m just going to trust that it’s going to be like that again.”

Swiatek, who is now on an eight-match winning streak, will face world No 16 Ekaterina Alexandrova in the last 16 at the WTA 1000 tournament on Monday.

READ MORE: What Aryna Sabalenka’s Miami defeat means for WTA Rankings as Iga Swiatek and Coco Gauff look to cash in