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By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Thursday, May 23, 2024
One is a lonely number.

World No. 1 Iga Swiatek credits strength in numbers—a strong support system of friends and family—for her rise to the top.

Navratilova: Two Changes Can Help Gauff vs. Swiatek

The reigning Roland Garros champion made friends with a familiar face in Paris this week.

Friends fan Iga Swiatek joined forces with actress and Friends star Courtney Cox on stage and on court for the launch of Beyond Number One, a new film on her life and career.

Beyond Number One is an eight-and-a-half-minute film produced by On and directed by acclaimed filmmaker Jason Harper, that explores the complexity of being a professional athlete. It showcases how four-time Grand Slam champion finds the strength and drive to believe in her dreams through the help of all those who have been supporting the 22-year-old during her rapid rise to the top of the game.

The new film is part of the Swiss sportswear brand’s new series of short films titled “Dream Together."

Swiatek and American Ben Shelton are prominent On tennis ambassadors and former world No. 1 Roger Federer is a co-owner of On.

To celebrate the film's launch, On hosted a community event in partnership with the Ace Club at the Centre Sportif Jean Dixmier in Paris.

Tennis fans, local players, and ambassadors came together for a day of tennis on the Parisian clay courts and a surprise visit from the queen of clay and star of the film, Iga Świątek.

The biggest surprise was for Świątek herself: the Rome champion received support from “Friends” actress and avid tennis player Courtney Cox.


In 2022, “Friends”-fan Świątek had commented on a humorous reel showing Cox at tennis training: “If we’d play doubles together, no-one would have hit you… just saying.”

On helped turn that idea into a reality in Paris.

After presenting the short film in an exclusive preview for present tennis enthusiasts, community members, and the media, Iga and Courteney chatted during a Q&A session.

Afterward, and to the delight of more than 50 guests, new friends took to the court for a short match before Świątek spent some time playing with community members as well.


A film crew followed Iga around the world, from Palm Springs, California, to her hometown of Warsaw in Poland, fo gain insight on the close bond between Iga and her dedicated team, comprised of sports psychologist Daria Abramowicz, tennis coach Tomasz Wiktorowski, and strength and conditioning coach and physiotherapist Maciej Ryszczuk.

The short film portrays Iga as an athlete and young woman who reflects on the triumphs, pressures, and expectations that come with being the world’s number one player.

Here's a look at the film:

“I’d like to inspire the younger generation to believe in themselves and in their dreams while also accepting defeats and vulnerability as part of the process," 
Świątek says. "Making “Beyond Number One” offered me the chance to speak about this topic and offer fans a deeper insight into my journey to this point. It was a great experience for me and also for my entire team, who I loved having with me on this project."

The Swiss brand plans two subsequent episodes centering on running stars and On athletes Dominic Lobalu, Sintayehu Vissa, and Hellen Obiri to be released throughout the summer.

On says its “Dream Together series showcases the inspiring lives, struggles, and paths of these athletes on their way to the biggest stages in sport. The series explores the unifying power of ambition and unwavering support that has helped each of the athletes in different ways on their journey to becoming elite in their field."

Photo credit: On