- Iga Swiatek started playing tennis at 14 years old
- She played to beat her elder sister Agata Swiatek who is a Dentistry student in Poland
- Her sporting spirit comes from her father Tomasz Świątek, who was a professional rower
Iga Swiatek, the 2022 Indian Wells champion got into tennis at 14 but all she wanted was to beat her elder sister Agata Swiatek.
Her sporting spirit comes from her father Tomasz Świątek, who was a professional rower. He always wanted her daughters to pursue an individual sport other than a group sport because it gave them more control.
It is from her urge to beat Agata that six years later, she is the world No.2.
WHO IS IGA SWIATEK?
She was born on May 31, 2001, in Poland’s capital Warsaw. Her mother works as an orthodontist, which explains her interest in orthodontics, while Agata is a dentistry student at the Medical University of Lublin.
In order to have more control over their prospects of success, Iga’s father preferred that his daughters participate in individual sports rather than team sports.
Agata began her athletic career as a swimmer, but after experiencing difficulty with the sport, she turned to tennis.
The reason Iga joined tennis was both to beat her sister and to become more like her.
At the age of 15, Agata briefly competed on the ITF Junior Circuit before retiring due to injuries. As a 14-year-old, Iga trained at Mera Warsaw before transferring to Legia Warsaw.
WHEN DID IGA SWIATEK START HER PROFESSIONAL TENNIS CAREER?
As a junior, Iga achieved a career-high rating of No. 5. For her first two ITF Junior Circuit victories, she had to wait until April and May of 2015, when she was just 13 years old.
Having only begun playing in ITF Junior Circuit competitions in 2015, she went on to win Grade 4 titles in April and May of that year at the tender age of 13.
She advanced to Grade 2 competitions before the conclusion of the year and finished runner-up in both singles and doubles at the Czech Junior Open, a tournament in the Czech Republic.
At the 2016 French Open, she made her junior Grand Slam debut in both singles and doubles, making it all the way to the quarterfinals in both events.
Next, at the Grade 1 Canadian Open Junior Championships, she won her best junior championship ever by beating Olga Danilovi in the final.
She performed well in the first half of 2017. At the Grade 1 Traralgon Junior International, she was victorious in both the singles and doubles events.
Despite losing her first-round match at the Australian Open, she and compatriot Maja Chwaliska reached their first Grand Slam doubles final.
However, they lost to the American combination of Bianca Andreescu and Carson Branstine.
Her next stop was the Trofeo Bonfiglio final, where she faced off against Elena Rybakina and lost.
After another quarterfinal appearance at the French Open, her season came to an end when she underwent seven months of recovery time due to right ankle surgery.
IGA SWIATEK INDIAN WELLS VICTORY
It was another amazing performance from Iga Swiatek, as she won 6-4 6-1 over Maria Sakkari in the finals of the BNP Paribas Open.
Swiatek is the first Polish woman to win the Indian Wells tournament. She will ascend to No. 2 in the WTA rankings as a result of her stellar start in 2022.
Another windy day in California’s desert contributed to an uneven encounter filled with nine breaks of service.
With two breaks in a lopsided second set, Swiatek clinched her second straight WTA 1000 title with a thunderous forehand winner at the age of 20.
“It’s pretty crazy because I wasn’t expecting to be in that place (final) especially after playing so well in the previous tournament. I didn’t know it was possible for me to play that well for that long,” she said after the victory.
She added that she tried hard to play such a great match under the circumstances. She had to be tactical, and it paid off handsomely.
For now, the Polish say her biggest challenge is maintaining her ranking and great playing skills.
A win on Sunday extended Swiatek’s current WTA winning streak to 11 after she had lost her first three matches with the Greek.