Martina Navratilova offers blunt advice to Iga Swiatek
Former World No 1 Martina Navratilova believes that Iga Swiatek shouldn’t be letting on that she is fatigued.
Navratilova admitted that Swiatek could very well be worn out but believes that she should either ‘suck it up’ or pull out of the US Open.
Swiatek won the title in her home event in Warsaw not long after Wimbledon and Navratilova feels that it would have been that tournament that tipped the scales.
“I used to be tired after the US Open, but not before it,” Navratilova said, according to the Telegraph.
“The only time I remember being tired before the US Open was in 1976, when we played World Team Tennis, and I had played 23 matches after Wimbledon. I lost in the first round to Janet Newberry, because I was just exhausted.
“I understand the stress on the players today,” Navratilova explained.
“What with Iga being Polish, she probably had to play Warsaw [which started only a week after Wimbledon had finished]. So maybe that’s why she’s tired. But I still have to say ‘Come on, just suck it up.’”
Navratilova believes that Swiatek needs to toughen up.
“It’s September,” she added.
“You didn’t play that many tournaments. And it’s the US Open! So if you can’t get up for that, or if you feel that mentally tired, don’t play. Just take the time off, force yourself to take the vacation. I never gave myself permission to do that, and it never occurred to me that I could.
“Or just get on with it and say, ‘Okay, I’m fine. It’s just two weeks. It’s seven matches. I literally have to work hard for maybe 20 hours these next two weeks.’ You just suck it up and say, ‘I’m gonna get on with it and put it in perspective to what normal people do for a living.’
“And yeah, you’re in the spotlight. But, you know, nice problem, right? This is what you wanted all your life. And here you are. So you just gotta toughen up on that front. I just don’t have that much sympathy, when I think about what we went through.”
Swiatek will begin her US Open title defence against Swede Rebecca Peterson on Monday having played 62 matches so far in the 2023 season.
She could be on course for a ninth meeting with Coco Gauff in the last eight in New York, if both players reach that stage.
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