Iga Swiatek looks to follow Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal’s lead after ‘exhausting’ No 1 battle
Iga Swiatek’s reign at No 1 in the WTA Rankings will come to an end after the US Open and she admits the last stretch of her stint at the top “was pretty exhausting”.
The Pole first ascended the throne on April 4 and she enjoyed a glorious 75 weeks at the top, but her run will come to an end next Monday following her loss to Jelena Ostapenko in the fourth round at Flushing Meadows as Aryna Sabalenka will replace her at the top.
As the reigning US Open champion Swiatek dropped 2,000 points at the start of the tournament and all Sabalenka had to do was equal the Pole’s result in New York.
It will bring an end to the 22-year-old’s first stint as No 1 and although it was an incredible effort as she is the first Pole to top the rankings, her battle with Sabalenka had taken a toll in recent weeks.
Swiatek, though, is determined to learn from greats like Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal after this setback.
“It was great [to be No 1], but on the other hand the last part was pretty exhausting. I still need to do what all these great players like Roger or Novak or Rafa are talking about, you just have to focus on the tournaments not the rankings.
“Usually I’m not looking at numbers, but overall I love them. I would love to, like, extend this record a little bit longer. This is something that when I was younger, I actually kind of wanted to break some record or have something.
“I already did that ’cause I already won a Slam as a first Polish player. Obviously being No 1 is great, but for sure when it happens, when you lose it, there are some sad emotions.
“All these great players know it’s going to come back if you’re going to work hard, focus on the right things, just develop as a player. Besides this match, which was pretty weird, I feel I am progressing as a player.”
Swiatek’s reign as No 1 in numbers
28 – She was the 28th player to top the WTA Rankings when she took over at No 1 on April 4. She was also the first Pole to become world No 1
75 – The number of consecutive weeks at the top
10 – She sits 10th in the lost for most weeks spent at No 1 – 23 weeks adrift of Lindsay Davenport in ninth while Steffi Graf headlines the list with 377 weeks
8 – Swiatek is eight for most consecutive weeks at No 1 with Serena Williams and Steffi Graf joint top with 186 weeks.
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