Swiatek opens up on pressures of staying on top

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Swiatek came through her first-round match at the Australian Open on Monday as she beat Jule Niemeier 6-4 7-5, though she trailed 5-3 in the second set before winning four-straight games.

The world number one will face Camila Osorio in the second round on Wednesday, and admitted she had needed to find another gear to overcome her German opponent.

"I knew that I could get my focus up a little bit, [increase] the intensity a little bit more. So I did that," she said.

"But my goal for my next matches is not being in those situations and not starting the set with losing a break, but it happens. I'm happy that I was able to come back. It wasn't like I needed to really change a lot. I just needed to have more intensity."

After an impressive 2022 season, that saw her win the French Open and US Open, expectations have risen around Swiatek, which the 21-year-old has noticed.

"For sure, I feel like people are really focused on the numbers and on the statistics," she said. "I feel like they're looking at those matches not seeing that we are still people, and we have to really fight for it. 

"I know that I also put a lot of expectations on myself, but I'm working on that. It just feels like sometimes they're not treating you still as a human, but more like a robot who has to win."

Swiatek has now won the first round in a grand slam tournament in 15 of her previous 16 appearances, but admitted she only developed confidence in playing on hard courts last year.

"At the beginning of last year I didn't have that much confidence that I can also win big titles on hard court because all of them basically happened last season," she said.

"Also before I think the media kind of described me as a clay court player. Maybe that got into me a little bit. But, yeah, for sure working with [coach] Tomasz [Wiktorowski], I just felt like I can be more aggressive on hard court. I don't have to be the baseline player. I really used that in my matches, then the results kind of showed me that I'm going right direction."


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