New French Open champion Iga Swiatek admits that she is unsure of how life on court will be once fans return after the COVID-19 danger passes.
The 19-year-old who won a Grand Slam title on only her seventh main draw appearance at a major, said she’s gotten used to competing in front of limited or non-existent spectators.
On Saturday she beat Australian Open winner Sofia Kenin 6-4, 6-1 to lift Poland’s first Grand Slam title.
The US Open, Cincinnati and all but the last two days of Rome were played in isolation while Roland Garros was limited to a maximum of 1,000 fans per day onsite.
“The whole tournament (Paris) was different, I don’t know how I would react if the stadium was full or if the whole site was packed with audience,” she said.
“If I’m going to get another result like this – semi-finals or final – I’ll have good experience from this Grand Slam.”
Swiatek has been competing continuously since late August, starting with the Cincinnati event (played in the New York bio-bubble), the US Open (third round), a first-round defeat in Roma before her ground-breaking Paris triumph.
“Playing the US Open swing without an audience and having higher expectations (since some) top players weren’t playing because of COVID, it wasn’t that good for me.
“I had to work through it (no crowds), but I just got used to not playing with
an audience – I think I could handle it (now) here was an audience, I’m sure it would be the same.
“I’ve (just) never been in a situation like this.”
While she broke new ground with her Grand Slam trophy, Swiatek cannot forget compatriot Aga Radwanska, who finished runner-up at Wimbledon in 2012.
“I’m just proud of myself, I’ve done a great job these past two weeks. I wasn’t expecting to win this trophy.
“It’s obviously amazing for me – a life-changing experience.
“I feel like I kind of made history. But I still think that Radwanska, she achieved, like, a lot, played on the top level of WTA for 12 years. I don’t even know the number.”
She added: “I know a lot of people will compare us. But I need to be really consistent for the next couple years for anyone to name me as the best player in Poland.
“I still have a lot to do.”
Main Photo:- Iga Swiatek with Trophy in Ladies Locker Room Photo Corinne Dubreuil/FFT pool photo