Australian Open: Swiatek admits she ‘felt the pressure of not wanting to lose’

Australian Open: Swiatek admits she ‘felt the pressure of not wanting to lose’

The three-time Grand Slam champion entered the Australian Open as a favorite for the title but was knocked out by 2022 Wimbledon champion Rybakina 6-4 6-4 in an hour and 30 minutes on Sunday January 22.

The Kazakh’s power was too much for Swiatek, with Rybakina outstanding on serve leading to apparent frustration for the world number one as the match unfolded.

“I felt the pressure and I felt like I didn’t want to lose instead of winning,” Swiatek told reporters. “So that’s a base that I should focus on in the next two weeks.

“It was just difficult. But for sure I have to work on my mindset and fight a bit more like I did last season.

“So for sure I’m going to take some time now to reset myself.”

Swiatek won the US Open and French Open titles in 2022, as she rode a 37-match winning streak that ended at Wimbledon.

The 21-year-old Pole denied that the pressure of being world number one played a part in her exit.

“I don’t think it matters,” she said. “I experience it differently because I felt differently.

“But I was number one at Roland Garros, I was number one at Wimbledon and the US Open. I was able – maybe not at Wimbledon – but I was able to play well and compete. I don’t think not that it matters.”

Swiatek was able to bounce back quickly from her Wimbledon third-round loss to Alize Cornet by triumphing at Flushing Meadows just two months later, but she failed to draw a parallel with Sunday’s loss.

“Honestly, I don’t see a lot of similarities,” Swiatek said. “I feel like it’s pretty easy. I just wasted too much energy before the tournament and during the first days of the tournament to worry.

“It’s just a different time for me. Before the US Open, I was actually able to drop out because I played pretty badly in Toronto and Cincinnati, and that kind of helped reset me. and to start the US Open without really expecting much from myself.

“Here it was different, so I don’t relate the US Open to the streak at all. I don’t compare this situation to my loss at Wimbledon.”

Swiatek praised Rybakina, who will face Jelena Ostapenko in the quarterfinals, for her play on Sunday, saying she was tactically composed and focused.

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