‘I am ready’ – Swiatek eager to bounce back from injury woes
Iga Swiatek is looking to bounce back from a rib injury as she looks to defend her Stuttgart Open title, with the world No. 1 in action against Qinwen Zheng on Thursday.
Swiatek was forced to pull out of the Miami Open and the Billie Jean King Cup qualifiers after suffering an injury during her run to the Indian Wells semi-finals last month.
It has been far from ideal preparation for her French Open title defence next month, but Swiatek feels she has now turned a corner.
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Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, she said: “I’m not injured anymore, so that’s the most important thing for me.
“I feel like I used that time in Warsaw well to rest a little bit and to not think about tennis.
“I have still been working out physically a little bit and obviously coming back to practising step by step. Here I am and I think I’m ready.”
From starting with a 1,736-point advantage over world No. 2 Barbora Krejcikova, Swiatek’s lead soared to 6,000 points by the end of 2022 after a dominant 67-win season; the most wins in a single season since Serena Williams in 2013.
In the year since becoming world No. 1, Swiatek has won seven titles, including two Grand Slams, reeled off a century-best 34-match win streak, lost only 10 times, and stacked up a formidable 14-3 record against top-10 opponents. She has also won 20 sets by a 6-0 scoreline as world No. 1.
The Pole’s next challenge is her match against Zheng and she addressed the WTA’s decision to end its China boycott regarding concerns over Peng Shuai.
“It’s the first tournament on clay, so for sure I would love to play well, but I also know that I might be a little bit rusty because coming back from injury it’s always a little bit like that.
“So, I’m keeping my expectations low, but for sure I want to play the best tennis possible.
“I just trust that the WTA is making right decision.
“I hope that we, as players, can be safe no matter what country we are from,” Swiatek said.
“I don’t have any kind of emotional influence because I have never even been to China. It’s hard for me to say anything, but I just hope that WTA is strategically making a good choice.”
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