Iga Swiatek said she needed to reset and rediscover some of the fighting spirit she showed last year after the top seed crashed out of the Australian Open fourth round following a 6-4 6-4 defeat by Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina on Sunday.
Reigning French Open and U.S. Open winner Swiatek said the pressure had been building over the last two weeks and she had been going into matches hoping not to lose rather than wanting to win.
“I felt today that I don’t have that much to take from myself to fight even more. I felt I took a step back in terms of how I approach these tournaments and I maybe wanted it a little bit too hard,” Swiatek told reporters.
“So I’m going to try to chill out a bit more. That’s all.
“I felt the pressure and I felt that I don’t want to lose instead of I want to win. So that’s a base of what I should focus on in next couple of weeks.”
Swiatek went on a 37-match winning streak last year before losing in the third round at Wimbledon. She bounced back to win at Flushing Meadows but heading into Melbourne Park the Pole said she wasted too much energy worrying.
“Before the U.S. Open I was actually able to kind of let it go because I played pretty bad in Toronto and Cincinnati, and that helped me to reset and just start the U.S. Open without actually expecting much from myself,” she added.
“Here was different, so I’m not connecting the U.S. Open with the streak at all. I’m not comparing this situation to my Wimbledon loss.”
Swiatek said she would learn from the defeat.
“Usually if my whole experience at the tournament was tougher and then it comes to an end, I’m able to not focus about the fact that I lost the match but about the overall performance and what’s going on with me,” she said.
“So this time, I think it’s going to be motivating for me and I’m sure I’m going to play next tournaments with something to focus on, something to work on, and I’m going to go forward.”