French Open: Swiatek unconcerned by winning streak with 'nothing to lose' mentality

By Sports Desk May 28, 2022

Iga Swiatek insists she is unbothered by the focus on her remarkable winning streak as she continues to play with "nothing to lose" at the French Open.

World number one Swiatek progressed into the fourth round at Roland Garros with a 6-3 7-5 win over Danka Kovinic on Saturday.

The 20-year-old has won her last 31 matches, just one short of the tally achieved by former world number one Justine Henin in 2008.

Swiatek would match the longest winning streak of this century, set by Venus Williams in 2000 (35), should she go on to lift the trophy in Paris.

But the Pole says is focusing on playing with freedom as opposed to getting caught up in the furore surrounding her winning run.

"For sure nothing to lose. It's been always like that. I feel like every person plays better when they feel like they have nothing to lose," Swiatek told reporters.

"I mean, from my point of view, I don't really mind the streak. I'm just playing my tennis. I've gained so many points this season already that I try to look at it from that perspective that I actually have nothing to lose here.

"I just try to focus on the stuff that actually is going on. Thinking about all these stats, it's not really helpful.

"So basically I try to be really strict in terms of my thoughts and try to really focus on finding solutions.

"The thoughts are there, but I'm accepting that, and it's kind of the biggest part of the job is to manage them properly and to really shift the focus on the right things."

Swiatek won her first and only grand slam at Roland Garros in 2020, and has now won 17 of the 19 matches she has played at the French Open.

That feat ranks her just behind Margaret Court, Chris Evert and Monica Seles for the number of wins from their first 19 matches at Roland Garros in the Open Era.

Overcoming China's Zheng Qinwen is the next task for Swiatek, who expects a tough test against the world number 74.

"I'm not really familiar, honestly. Because I didn't watch a lot of tennis during the past couple of months, but I have heard some other players talking about her," she added. 

"I'm sure that she's in the right place for her to be, because she's playing really well. Even when she lost some matches, people were really telling me that she has talent.

"But I didn't really watch a lot, so I'm not like tactically ready. For now I'm going to prepare, for sure."

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