Iga Swiatek has spent 75 weeks as the number one player before finally surrendering that status to Aryna Sabalenka earlier this year, and it's had an interesting effect on her life.
Swiatek first became world number one last year after putting together an excellent first half of the season. Her ascension to number one was boosted by Ashleigh Barty retiring from the sport, but it didn't happen solely because of that. No, she backed up her status as the best on the tennis courts with some incredible achievements.
Multiple trophies and a 30+ match winning streak are pretty compelling arguments. She remained number one for the rest of the year, ending up at 75 weeks before Sabalenka dethroned her after the US Open.
Her level this year hasn't been the same as last year, and slowly but surely, Sabalenka was able to reduce the gap. She played amazingly for much of this year and finally became the new world number one at the US Open.
Regarding Swiatek, her time as number one was beneficial regarding sponsor visibility, but there are drawbacks to it as well. In a recent interview, she revealed that it's really had to go unnoticed as people recognize her everywhere she goes.
People recognise me almost everywhere. It’s difficult for me to live in peace and quiet.
She's not the first player to experience fame, and it's just something that she needs to adjust to. It's not why she plays tennis, but it's a side effect of being the very best at doing such a public thing. Still, her career is something that gives her tremendous pride.
As her life motto says: You don’t get up in the morning to be average.
Everything I have achieved, and that I can feel proud.