PARIS (Reuters) - Iga Swiatek said it would be “crazy and overwhelming” if she becomes Poland’s first Grand Slam singles champion by beating American Sofia Kenin in the French Open final on Saturday.
But the 19-year-old said she is not heaping pressure on herself and would be happy whatever the outcome.
“I feel like I’m ready. I also feel like I don’t have to win. I’m pretty okay with both scenarios,” Swiatek told reporters after her hopes of also reaching the doubles final were ended when she and partner Nicole Melichar lost in three sets to Desirae Krawczyk and Alexa Guarachi on Friday.
“I’m just going to focus like it’s another match. I feel like the pressure isn’t on me. Right now I’m just enjoying that I have like a great run in singles.
“I think if I’m going to win, it’s going to be crazy and super overwhelming for me. But even though there’s, like, chaos around me, when I’m coming on court, I feel like my mind is clear. Just focus on playing, going back to basics.”
Far from enjoying a relaxing day before her maiden Grand Slam final, Swiatek was battling it out with American Melichar and however relaxed she sounds, her competitive instincts were on show as she was clearly angry at losing 7-6(5) 1-6 6-4.
“I tend to get a little bit more frustrated in doubles because I feel like I’m playing also for my partner,” Swiatek, bidding to become the youngest French Open champion since Monica Seles in 1992, said.
“But, yeah, I’m going to be okay on singles. Singles is a totally different story.”
Swiatek has reached the singles final for the loss of only 23 games but Kenin, 21, will be a formidable opponent having won the Australian Open in February.
The only other time they played against each other was in the French Open juniors four years ago when Swiatek won.
“I remember I just played good tennis, but I don’t remember a lot actually because it was four years ago,” she said. “But tomorrow is going to be a totally different story.
“I think this match on Saturday can be really long, so I think it’s good that I played some points under pressure (in the doubles).”
Krawczyk and Guarachi will play second seeds Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic in the final.
Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Toby Davis
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.