Iga Swiatek reveals how she's learning from Serena Williams to stay "at the top"

Iga Świątek Serena Williams

Iga Świątek has revealed the aspect of Serena Williams‘ game that she is looking to implement into her own performances on the court.

Last weekend, the 21-year-old became the first Polish woman in history to win the US Open — the same tournament where Williams bid farewell to tennis.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion spent an enormous 319 weeks in total as the world number one and Świątek is eager to uncover a similar formula to keep herself at the top of the rankings.

“I feel like it’s not every time that I can make use of it [pressure of being at the top],” the new US Open champion told WTATour.com.

“This is the thing that Serena really showed how to do. Because she was at the top for a long time and she was using that pressure and intimidation of being at the top of the game. She used it pretty well to make her matches a little bit easier, especially at the beginning.

“I feel like I was able to do that a couple of times, but I want to do it more often. So for sure I’m aware of that and I want to try and use it in the right way.”

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 10: Iga Swiatek of Poland celebrates with the championship trophy after defeating Ons Jabeur of Tunisia during their Women’s Singles Final match on Day Thirteen of the 2022 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 10, 2022 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Świątek rose to the top of the WTA rankings in April following the retirement of former world number one Ashleigh Barty. 

She has enjoyed a superb 2022 which saw her win both the French Open and US Open. The Pole also became just the fourth woman to win the Sunshine Double by securing titles at both Indian Wells and the Miami Open.

Winning doesn’t seem to be any cause for concern for Świątek, but her focus is now on making sure she keeps the world number one status for as long as possible.

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Who won the 2021 Australian Open?

How successful was Serena Williams?

Williams is regarded as one of the best players in the history of tennis, male or female.

For years, she chased a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title to match Margaret Court’s all-time tally, but she fell agonisingly short on four occasions.

However, Williams does hold the record for most majors won during the Open Era. She also leads with the highest number of titles won in an individual tournament, after emerging victorious at the Australian Open a whopping seven times.

Williams’ 319 weeks as world number one is the third highest in WTA history. Only Martina Navratilova (332) and Steffi Graf (377) are above her.

The 40-year-old holds the joint-record for most consecutive weeks spent at the top of the rankings. She is tied with Graf at 186 weeks.

Serena Williams
NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 07: Serena Williams of the United States celebrates with the trophy after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark to win their women’s singles final match on Day fourteen of the 2014 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 7, 2014 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Williams defeated Wozniacki in two sets by a score of 6-3, 6-3. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Last month, Williams announced the time had come for her to “evolve away” from tennis and focus on her family. The US Open was her on court swan song, ending an iconic era than spanned almost three decades.

Now, the legend has passed the baton down to the next generation and players like Świątek will look to follow a similar route to greatness.

With three Grand Slam titles under her belt, could Poland’s tennis icon be headed for a decorated career like Serena’s?

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