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It's rock 'n' roll for Swiatek in Paris

June 02, 2022 23:46 IST
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Iga Swiatek

Photograph: Kind Courtesy French Open/Twitter

Iga Swiatek is considered one of the most soft-spoken and humble players on the women's circuit but when the 21-year-old prepares for a match, electric guitars, drums and hard rock take over.

Poland's world number one crushed Daria Kasatkina on Thursday to stretch her winning run to 34 matches and breeze into Saturday's final, having arrived at Roland Garros as the overwhelming favourite to win a second French Open title.

 

Swiatek routinely arrives on court wearing headphones, drowning out the voices in her head and outside with thumping rock music.

"There are a few bands that I listen to before a match," a beaming Swiatek told reporters. "Led Zeppelin, AC/DC and Guns N' Roses, they were always the three that were really kind of perfect for the situation."

"So I use music to kind of have something that's going to get my brain busy and relaxed before the match. But also when I want to be more energetic, it really helps me."

The Pole said she had worked on trying to lower her own expectations before arriving at Roland Garros, where she won her maiden major title without dropping a set as a teenager.

"It was extremely difficult and it didn't work at the beginning," Swiatek said.

"So when I got past some difficult situations ... it got a little bit easier, because I felt like I had already done like the minimum job that I was thinking I could do here.

"I couldn't get rid of the expectations like fully, but I tried to accept that, that they are going to be there and it's going to stress me a little bit more."

The 2020 champion travels with a sports psychologist in her team and has credited Daria Abramowicz for helping her become mentally stronger in dealing with both success and failure.

"I try not to hold it inside, and I try to talk with the whole team about it," said Swiatek.

"So Daria for sure is helpful, because she's around and she knows me pretty well. She also knows how to guide me in terms of finding the right solution for me to be more relaxed."

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Source: REUTERS
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