An exhausted Iga Swiatek said she would try to “embrace” the pressure a bit more after losing to Jelena Ostapenko in the fourth round of the U.S. Open on Sunday, a defeat which saw her 75-week run as world number one come to an end.
Swiatek inherited the top spot following Ash Barty’s retirement in April 2022 and embarked on a superb run of form in the months that followed to claim three more Grand Slam titles after her breakthrough French Open success in 2020.
The 22-year-old’s consistency meant only two other women have held the number one ranking for more consecutive weeks in their first stints at the top: Steffi Graf (186) and Martina Hingis (80).
Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus will take over from Swiatek when the rankings are updated on September 11 and the Pole told reporters her time at the top had been great.
“On the other hand this last part was pretty exhausting,” she said after her 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 loss to Ostapenko.
“Usually I’m not looking at numbers, but overall I love them. I’d love to extend this record a little bit longer. This is something that, when I was younger, I actually wanted to break some record or have something.
“I already did that because I already won a Slam as a first Polish player. Obviously, being number one as the third player in history is great. But for sure, when you lose it there are some sad emotions.”
Swiatek said she has made progress as a player, but this season has been “really tough and intense”.
“It’s not easy to cope with all of this stuff,” she added.
After losing to former Roland Garros champion Ostapenko for the fourth straight time, Swiatek said she hoped to return stronger.
“When I’m going to be next time in the same situation, I’m going to do some stuff differently because, it was a little bit stressful, and it shouldn’t be,” Swiatek said.
“Tennis is stressful overall, but I should embrace it a little bit more. I’ll do it differently next time, so I guess that’s positive.”
- India vs Australia Live Score Updates, World Cup 2023 Final: Toss, lineups at 1:30pm; Rohit & Co looks to extend winning run to 11 at Narendra Modi Stadium
- NBA roundup: Thunder sink Warriors again, this time in OT
- 2003 World Cup reporter diary: Vijay Lokapally revisits covering the India vs Australia final in Johannesburg
- India vs Australia final LIVE Updates, ICC World Cup 2023 Closing Ceremony: Pritam, Jonita to perform; 10-minute show planned by Indian Air Force
- ODI World Cup 2023: List of team India’s fielding medal winners