‘Hard for me to get a grasp of it’: Swiatek surprised on joining 100-week club as world No.1

Madrid: Iga Swiatek, the world No.1, recently reached the milestone of becoming the ninth player to spend 100 weeks at the top of the WTA rankings. Reflecting on this achievement, the Pole expressed her surprise, saying it’s hard to “get a grasp of this milestone” because it happened so fast.

Among the select group of nine players who have spent 100 weeks at the summit of the WTA rankings, Swiatek stands as the fifth youngest after Martina Hingis, Monica Seles, Stefanie Graf, and Chris Evert to achieve this feat at the age of 22 years and 326 days

“Honestly it’s hard for me to get a grasp of it because it happened so fast,” Swiatek said of joining the 100 club. “It’s pretty crazy. I never expected to be in that position. Actually, staying at the top of the game for so long is something that really makes me proud,” Swiatek said in a Madrid Open pre-tournament presser on Tuesday.

“I think we made some tough decisions sometimes. I have good people that are guiding me and helping me so for sure I wouldn’t be here if I would do it by myself and I’m really grateful that everything led to that.

The four-time Grand Slam champion first took over the top spot in April 2022 when Ashleigh Barty retired from tennis and has remained at the summit ever since, except for an eight-week period last season when Aryna Sabalenka replaced her.

“As you know, especially last year, getting back to No.1 was a big deal and it happened in an unpredictable way, so I’m just proud of myself that I could cope with all the pressure that comes with that. But overall it’s kind of fun,” she added.

Swiatek will reach the milestone 749 days after first ascending to World No.1 — the fourth-quickest player to reach 100 weeks following Graf, Evert and Seles, according to WTA stats.

Arriving in the Spanish capital, Swiatek is celebrating her 100th week as the world No.1. Having been a runner-up in Madrid last year, she will kick off her campaign against Wang Xiyu of China.

The three-time Roland Garros winner started her clay season with a semifinal showing in Stuttgart last week, where she lost to eventual champion Elena Rybakina in three sets. However, she remains unfazed by her defeat to Rybakina, emphasizing that she never takes her victories for granted, whether on clay or any other surface.

“Well it puts you back on the ground but on the other hand I never felt like I am taking these tournaments for granted because still, you know, I lost here last year and I lost in Rome.

“We’re competing really against the best players in the world so it’s not like you’re going to win every tournament. Even though it is my favourite surface, it doesn’t mean that my tennis is going to be perfect,” said Swiatek.

As Madrid welcomes the best players in the world for its two-week tennis extravaganza, the sport bids farewell to a future Hall-of-Famer in Garbine Muguruza, who announced she is officially hanging up her racquet on the eve of the tournament.

Swiatek has been a long-time fan of the Spanish former world No.1 and took time to pay tribute to Muguruza.

“When I was younger I was looking at her achievements when she won Roland Garros and Wimbledon, I was thinking maybe she’s going to be my favourite WTA player. Because I always liked Rafa (Nadal), but I never really had anybody on the WTA to follow. Garbine was actually one of them for a while and then I started playing on tour so it was pretty weird to be fangirling about anybody,” revealed Swiatek.

“I’m still trying to understand tennis on grass so hopefully I’ll also be able to do it one day and maybe Garbine can help me a little bit with that, I’ll ask her,” the 22-year-old said with a smile.

Swiatek hopes she can one day match the Spaniard and add the Wimbledon title to her resume. “I’m still trying to understand tennis on grass so hopefully I’ll also be able to do it one day and maybe Garbine can help me a little bit with that, I’ll ask her,” the 22-year-old said with a smile,” Swiatek concluded.


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