Iga Swiatek: At the beginning, I didn’t want to be a professional tennis player

Iga Swiatek opened up in her column for The Players’ Tribune as she admitted that she didn’t instantly fall in love with the racket or dreamed about one day being a tennis pro.

At just 21, Swiatek is a three-time Grand Slam champion and tipped by many to become the next all-time great in tennis.

Now, Swiatek admits her father deserves a lot of credit for her being in this position today.

Swiatek’s father pushed Iga and always believed that his daughter could one day do major things in tennis. 

“Even on the court, I wasn’t that kind of kid who instantly fell in love with the racket. When I hear stories like that from other athletes, I think, Can a kid really feel it?? Because it wasn’t like that for me, not at six. I definitely liked playing a lot, but at the beginning, I didn’t dream of being a professional tennis player. That was my dad’s dream then. He wanted his daughters to do sports, to be active and maybe someday become athletes. I remember when I was ten (and a little more extroverted), I’d want to stay after school and play football with the other kids rather than training tennis. My dad would come looking for me at school shouting, “Igaaaa, come here!” Swiatek wrote in her column for The Players’ Tribune. 

Swiatek: Credit to my father

Swiatek is not just recognized as a great champion, she is also recognized as someone who has an outstanding work ethic.

Now, Swiatek admits it is her father who made sure she would end up on the right path.

“There were many moments where I didn’t want to push myself at tennis, so he did. He was always there, believing in me. He taught me how to be a professional, and have discipline and regularity. It was something he gave me to use in sport and in life. It wasn’t that he was super tough. But he was strict about practices and healthy routines in a way that, when I look back on it, I’m grateful for. My dad was that voice in my head that was always leading me the right way,” Swiatek added. 

After winning two Grand Slams in 2022, Swiatek is a big favorite to add more Grand Slam success to her name in 2023.

Swiatek is widely considered the top favorite to win this year’s Australian Open title.