World No. 1 Iga Swiatek starts 2023 with a clean record

Iga Swiatek (POL) celebrates after winning a point against Ons Jabeur (TUN) (not pictured) during the women's singles final on day 13 of the 2022 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center .

FILE–Iga Swiatek of Poland. Robert Deutsch-USA Sports TODAY

World number one Iga Swiatek on Wednesday said she will put aside a breakthrough 2022 season to focus on maintaining her position at the top of the women’s sport.

The Polish star has won eight singles titles, including France and United States Openin a stellar season that saw her take the top spot at the top of the standings, well ahead of second-placed Ons Jabeur of Tunisia.

The 21-year-old player inherits the number one position after the shock retirement of the Australian team Ashleigh Barty in March, but has since made it its own.

“I will try to get rid of everything that happened last year and just focus on the future, because I feel like I can draw a lot from these tournaments last year,” she said. before the opening ceremony of the mixed- United Cup teams in Brisbane.

“I really don’t want to keep that too much, because I want to move on and focus on my next goals.”

Swiatek admits she has mixed feelings about being number one after Barty’s retirement, not sure if she deserves it.

“At first, I felt unsure if this was the place for me,” she said. “Ash, she seems to be a huge role model for everyone in terms of how she behaves on and off the field so I feel like she really sets the bar quite high.

“I need to show that to everyone but also show myself that I am in the right place.

“I am very proud of myself,” she added. “I feel very satisfied because I have worked all my life to achieve this. I didn’t really think it was possible for me.

“Even now I feel like I can change and improve a lot.”

Poland host their United Cup in Brisbane on Saturday against Kazakhstan with Swiatek facing Yulia Putintseva in the opening match.

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