Sports, Tennis

No pressure for French Open champ Swiatek in Australia

Published : 31 Jan 2021 09:18 PM

AFP, Melbourne

Poland’s first Grand Slam singles champion IgaSwiatek insisted Sunday her expectations were low for the Australian Open, with the teen star keen to take the pressure off and focus on having fun.

The 19-year-old ensured her place in history by winning the French Open last year, crushing defending Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin 6-4, 6-1.

Back in Melbourne for the opening major of the year on February 8, she plays her first match since that breakthrough in the warm-up Gippsland Trophy this week after a fortnight of mandatory quarantine.

“Well, I’m not anxious, I’m mostly excited,” she said. 

“Basically I have, like, some amount of stress, but it’s a normal amount.

“I don’t feel more pressure than before French Open. Actually, I'm kind of confident that I can play good tennis, but it all depends on my preparation, on my attitude. 

“I’m trying to keep my expectations low, even though I did a really good pre-season.”

Swiatek, now ranked 17, admitted her life changed with victory at Roland Garros, going from a largely unknown teenager to celebrity status as the youngest woman to win in Paris since Monica Seles in 1992.