Pushing yourself beyond your limit to become number one is not an unfamiliar concept. We've seen it before in tennis, most notably in the case of Andy Murray, who pushed himself hard to finish world number one many years ago.
He paid a dear price for it as his body completely broke down after that, with many blaming his overwhelming schedule as the culprit behind his injury problems that forever derailed his career. Swiatek had similar doubts this year as she debated whether to keep playing to hold on to her number one rank as much as possible.
Before the US Open I was torn about whether I wanted to continue trying, play every tournament to fight to finish the year at #1 in the world. After the US Open I realized there were more important things to take care of. Sometimes it's better to take it easy.
Swiatek opted against it which is smart and will certainly help her long-term. She lost the number one rank to Aryna Sabalenka after the US Open while still technically being in the running to finish as world number one. When talking about the world no. 1 spot at the 2023 China Open, the Pole said there are far more important things.
I've also changed my attitude a bit, I just want to be a better player. Honestly, on one hand, I had to force myself to stop. On the other, I felt that it is not the right way to go. I've had #1 for a long time. I think I deserve a little time to regroup & then be better. Giving up on goals is sometimes not the right way to go.
I am happy that we have chosen to only play in Tokyo, Beijing & the WTA Finals. I think it would be easier if the WTA Finals were held earlier because then I could have a longer preseason to progress, but we have to adapt.
For now it seems like Aryna Sabalenka will finish the year as world number one but for her it's a goal.