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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Wednesday September 6, 2023

After her US Open defeat at the hands of Jelena Ostapenko, Iga Swiatek shared her thoughts on the concept of “defending.” The four-time Grand Slam champion is more concerned with offense and positive thinking at this stage of development.

Tennis Express

The 22-year-old doesn’t want to get sucked into the media’s narrative about defending titles and points and the No.1 ranking, and she explained her reasoning eloquently in a social media post.

“Last 1.5 years was a time of observing and experiencing how much people talk and write about “defending”, “defense” - of titles, ranking position, points… I was surprised sometimes to start to think this way because of this,” Swiatek wrote. “I don’t need to defend anything and this is a good moment to write down some thoughts.

“For me sport is a cycle of constant changes exactly like in everyday life, we can either win or lose - that’s it, it’s so simple. New season, next tournament, new opportunities to GAIN, ACHIEVE, not defend something.”

To sum it up, Swiatek used two words.

“Clean slate.”

She then wrote about her plan moving forward, which includes maintaining her high standard of excellence and growing and evolving her game.

It’s about “achieving” she says, not “defending.” “During this year’s US swing I could win and achieve more, that’s for sure,” she said. “I know some of you expected more, many of you expected "defending" the no 1 ranking, the title.

“But I stick to my mindset: when I work hard, I’m developing myself and doing my job, I will create many more chances to WIN, to ACHIEVE my goals and not to defend. The way to do it is to constantly focus on my high standards in what I do and learn from the best in this sport and from my team.”

She finished with a couple hashtags that could easily be interpreted as a statement of intent. Swiatek my drop to No.2 in the rankings after a 75-week run at the top, but it’s likely that with this attitude, she’ll be back on top soon.

#keepgoing #gettingstarted