Column by Iga Swiatek: French Open winners at celebrations on the Seine and Robert Lewandowski

Column by Iga Swiatek: French Open winners at celebrations on the Seine and Robert Lewandowski

After winning the French Open title on Saturday, WTA world number one Iga Swiatek uses her latest BBC Sport column from Roland Garros to discuss the aftermath of the triumph.

The 21-year-old from Poland, who also won in Paris in 2020, beat American teenager Coco Gauff in straight sets and extended her winning streak to 35 games.

Maybe it will disappoint many readers but I didn’t have much time on Saturday night to celebrate winning the Roland Garros title.

The next morning I had a photo shoot with a trophy and had to get up very early. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t happy or complaining!

I had a really good dinner with my team and it was good to spend the evening with them after many intense and busy weeks we had.

It didn’t take much for me to be happy after this final.

I just needed some quiet time to appreciate my accomplishments, my life and the good people around me.

Before I went to sleep on Saturday night, my last thought was how bad I was feeling.

as I wrote in my post on social mediaexternal link After the finals, I reflected on my recent achievements – winning six tournaments in a row and becoming the number one player in the WTA world – and found that my team and I forged our own path together.

Sometimes it’s different than the other teams. But we have focused on what we can control and this success is our reward for the work, effort and commitment.

The last year has not been easy for me. I wrote in a previous column at the Australian Open how I felt like my whole world was turned upside down after winning Roland Garros in 2020.

There were a lot of expectations for 2021 from me and other people. Everyone wanted to see if I was as good as my result at Roland Garros.

It was actually quite challenging, but I haven’t said goodbye to the things and methods I believe in.

Now I’m here enjoying the time when the hard, systematic work has paid off.

Iga Swiatek Column
Iga Swiatek clinched her sixth consecutive title with the triumph at the French Open, after victories in Doha, Indian Wells, Miami, Stuttgart and Rome

On Sunday I had the photo shoot of the traditional champion with the Roland Garros trophy. The tournament chose a very nice spot on a bridge with a view of the Eiffel Tower: Pont de Bir-Hakeim.

I love the landscape of the Seine.

Unfortunately, because of my flight home, I wasn’t able to go back to Roland Garros to watch the men’s final between Rafael Nadal – my tennis idol – and Casper Ruud in the stadium. But I managed to see part of the game on my laptop.

I’m happy that Rafa proved once again that it’s hard to beat him on Parisian clay. He is the undeniable legend of this tournament.

‘Simple Pleasures and Stand Up Paddle in Warsaw’

So I traveled back to Warsaw on Sunday and will be spending some much needed time at home before the grass season starts.

I really dream of enjoying the simple pleasures. Doing my laundry, tidying my room, sleeping in my own bed, chatting with my family over breakfast or dinner, and hanging out with my friends.

Watch a few TV series in my bed and also eat a good dessert.

Maybe I’ll spend time on the water on stand-up paddle boards – I really enjoy doing that too.

After so many weeks on the road and playing six tournaments in a row to the end, I just need to be home. That makes me so happy.

I need to charge myself to appreciate being here and now, in the moment. There is always something to do on tour, lots of people around us.

So I would sum it up like this: I plan to change my mode from a fast life to a slow one.

Even if it’s just a brief moment before the hard work starts again soon.

“Seeing Lewandowski was a huge surprise”

Iga Swiatek sees Robert Lewandowski in her box
Polish footballer Robert Lewandowski used a break in the national team’s Nations League games to see Swiatek in Paris

When I won the final on Saturday, I ran off the court and went to my box to celebrate with my team – then I saw Robert Lewandowski there a few rows behind them.

I was genuinely surprised because I didn’t know he was there.

My team and management knew about it, but they decided not to tell me not to distract myself.

It was a good decision because it’s important for me to keep my routines, especially in such important games. My team knows me well and is allowed to keep such things from me.

It was an honor to see Robert there. I’m glad he wanted to see my match and enjoyed my tennis.

I first met him two years ago when he won a Polish award for the best athlete of the year and I took second place.

He is the best Polish athlete, I know he worked hard to be in this position and I admire this systematic, step-by-step work process.

Football is a much more popular sport than tennis, not only in Poland, so I hope Robert’s interest in our sport could be beneficial and encourage people outside of it to discover it.

I would also like to use my status to attract more people to tennis, especially in Poland.

I think there is a lot we can do to convince children that tennis is a fun sport, to make it more accessible.

That’s a big goal for me. Hopefully I can keep winning trophies and inspiring a lot of people.

Iga Swiatek spoke to BBC Sport’s Jonathan Jurejko in Paris.

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