Iga Swiatek reveals her ultimate tennis idols and picks out her biggest highs and lows

Kevin Palmer
Iga Swiatek in action
Iga Swiatek of Poland celebrates during her tennis match

Iga Swiatek is at the top of the tennis world after as she leads the WTA Rankings and is widely respected to be the best player in the game, yet her rise to the top has not been without challenges.

The Polish star made a stunning breakthrough when she won her first Grand Slam title at the French Open in 2020 and when Ashleigh Barty announced her shock retirement from tennis in March 2022, new pressure was bestowed on Swiatek as she became the new world No 1.

Swiatek rose to the challenge of being the leader of the women’s game by winning the French Open and US Open in the year she took over as world No 1 and she claimed a fourth major title by winning a third title at Roland-Garros last summer.

Here, in the second part of her exclusive interview with Tennis365 to announce her involvement in the new TopSpin 2K25 game, Swiatek gave us an insight into her hopes and dreams for the rest of her career and the responsibility she feels as a leader of the women’s game.

Do you see yourself as a role model for young women or does that add pressure on your shoulders?

I’m happy I get to see little kids looking at what I’ve achieved and knowing that I might influence their lives so that they might succeed too, like getting to a point where they feature on their own video game!

What are your ultimate dreams in tennis?

To win every Grand Slam title and to succeed at the Olympics. To make my story matter in a way of inspiring kids to pursue their dreams and passion.

Iga Świątek takes centre stage in the new TopSpin 2K25 computer game
Iga Świątek takes centre stage in the deluxe edition of the new TopSpin 2K25 game

What was the biggest high and biggest low point of your career so far?

It’s actually a tough question. As I’m constantly learning to enjoy my journey more and more and appreciate achievements I would say that winning Cancun and finishing 2023 as No 1 is something that will stay with me forever. But you know… every small win, every good practice and good day is a high moment for me. As for the low ones? Probably managing expectations during Tokyo 2020 was something that took a toll on me.

Do you enjoy media/promotion or is this part of the sport you could do without?

It comes with the job. Some people don’t know that we have a lot of media obligations at every tournament we play, especially the first top 10 of women’s tennis. Usually I like the interactions, I like to talk about what’s important to myself, I know it’s important for fans to hear and read some of my thoughts and I mostly do it for them. When you lose a match or you’re very tired, it can be difficult but as I said, it’s part of my job which is super rewarding.

Who are your favourite three players of all-time and why?

Rafael Nadal was my idol from a very young age and inspired me to work hard and stay humble. Steffi Graf for her pursuit of excellence and intense presence on court. Serena and Venus Williams for shaping our game in the way we it today and changing it on so many levels.

Iga Swiatek spoke to Tennis365 in association with TopSpin 2K25 Standard Edition video game, which is scheduled for worldwide release on Friday, April 26, 2024, with early access from Tuesday, April 23 for the Deluxe Edition and the Grand Slam® Edition.