Iga Swiatek felt the negative energy towards the end of her first stint as World No. 1 and stated that "the whole world" was anticipating she would relinquish the No. 1 ranking.
After 75 weeks at the top of the rankings (first getting there in April 2022), Swiatek lost that distinction to Aryna Sabalenka following the conclusion of the 2023 US Open. The Pole was able to thrust her name into the WTA's Top 10 for the most weeks spent at No. 1.
But there is a new face at the summit of women's tennis, and it is not Swiatek, but the Pole surprisingly stated it will be for the greater good in the long term. For most tennis players, reaching the No. 1 ranking is the pinnacle of their career, and what they aspire to do.
Swiatek acknowledged the upshot of this achievement, describing it as having wings. However, she felt the baggage from every corner of the world, and it had far-reaching consequences. In recent weeks, the Pole opined that it almost felt like a relief to actually lose it, and focus on the goal of developing as a player.
Swiatek is still ambitious and hopes to reclaim her status as the world's top-ranked player in the not-too-distant future. In fact, she could do so at the 2023 WTA Finals where she is in a straight shootout with Sabalenka in Cancun.
"The No. 1 ranking position can give you wings and add positive energy. However, at the end of the period when I was a leader, I felt that the whole world was waiting for me to fall from this position. It wasn't easy. I know I did everything to stay ahead."
"I am aware that if I work well, I will quickly return to this position. When you're No. 2, it's a similar situation to most of your career. It's easier to concentrate to develop as a tennis player."