Iga Swiatek still trying to figure out Madrid Open
World No 1 Iga Swiatek has taken confidence from her Stuttgart title but still hasn’t settled in at the Madrid Open.
Swiatek already has five clay court titles to her name but has not achieved any great level of success in Madrid.
She missed the tournament last season with a niggle but has been installed as the favourite.
“Obviously I want to win every tournament that I go to, but Madrid, for sure, is still this kind of tournament that I haven’t figured it out for 100 percent,” Swiatek told reporters.
“So I just want to get the experience. Winning would mean that I would play six matches, so that’s a lot and I can learn a lot from that.
“But for now I’m just really focused on the first round, and I want to do it step by step. So we’ll see.”
Swiatek has struggled to settle in conditions that aren’t quite the same as other venues.
“I felt like it was flying off my racquet pretty quickly,” Swiatek said after her first practice.
“But also I have a lot of things I can change still, like string tension and everything. So my coach is already kind of working on that, and I think every hour is going to give me a lot.
“[At] Roland Garros and Stuttgart, my main goal was to play as hard as possible, because these balls are heavy. Here we also have heavy balls, but I feel like they are more flying like bullets. You have to control them. And the clay is a little bit different. The movement and stuff, I just have to get used to it.
“That’s fine. I think I just need a couple of days.”
Swiatek believes that it will take some time to settle into playing at La Caja Mágica.
“In Stuttgart, I think this is more of a tournament that is a great transition between hard court and clay because it’s fast,” Swiatek said. “Tactically, you just have to play fast as well and move your opponent around, because it’s hard to come back and recover from all this sliding.
“In Rome it’s harder to do that because everything is slower. You have to be more patient. Rallies are going to be longer. You’re going to feel that you’re not playing as fast as you could, but it’s not true.
“Here, I can’t really say a lot, because that’s my second time that I’m gonna play this tournament. I don’t have a lot of experience here, but the main thing I think it’s having control in the altitude. That’s what I’m going to focus on.”
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