Iga Swiatek: Indian Wells star to donate $50,000 to mental health charity

Iga Świątek revealed she will donate $50,000 of the prize money she received for reaching the third round of Indian Wells to a mental health charity

Iga Świątek revealed she will donate $50,000 (£37,000) of the prize money she received for reaching the third round of Indian Wells to a mental health charity.

Świątek powered into the round of 16 of Indian Wells with an emphatic 6-1, 6-0 victory over Veronika Kudermetova of Russia yesterday.

The 20-year-old announced in her post-match press conference that she would be donating her winnings to a non profit mental health organisation, before later offering clarification on Twitter.

"When I am able to enjoy my performance, like today, I am happy and grateful," she wrote. "This is an unusual post-match post, but it is not a usual day."

"I found that it would be good to share some thoughts about mental health on the occasion of #WorldMentalHealthDay. It’s important to raise awareness in terms of looking for help and support if we need it.

"It’s a sign of strength and wisdom, not weakness. As Michael Phelps wrote today: It’s OK not to be OK.

Świątek added: "My day was more than OK. I would like to dedicate today’s win to all the people who aren’t OK. And contribute to help them even if only a bit for now.

"I will donate $50,000 of my prize money for the third round in Indian Wells to non-profit providing mental health support. You can help me choose a charity in comments."

Świątek, winner of the 2020 French Open, revealed she would select an initiative following the conclusion of Indian Wells and share her choice on social media.

The Polish star said she was inspired by fellow tennis player Venus Williams, who has partnered with the WTA and BetterHelp to provide $2 million ($1.5m) of free therapy to the public.

Świątek travels to tournaments with sports psychologist Daria Abramowicz.

"I would say in sports, for me it was always important to use that kind of help because I always thought that in my mental toughness there is some strength that I can use on court and I can also develop in that manner," she said.

Iga Świątek has powered into the third round of Indian Wells

Seeded second in the tournament, Świątek has impressed at Indian Wells so far. The world number four faces Latvia’s Jeļena Ostapenko tomorrow, and revealed she is enjoying playing without expectation.

"I felt like the first period of the year from January to June it was pretty tough because we had many Grand Slams, we had Olympics," she said. "I felt a lot of pressure.

"But here I feel kind of free because even though we have the WTA finals at the end, I feel like I reached my goals and I went even higher than our goals. So I'm pretty happy about that and I feel like I can play without any expectations and just feel myself on court, which is great."

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