Iga Swiatek says she has found it harder to deal with her successes than she ever did her failures as she prepares to defend her French Open title.
The 19-year-old was a surprise winner at Roland Garros last year, but she has backed that up with more fine performances this season.
In her most recent event, she thrashed Karolina Pliskova 6-0, 6-0 in the final of Rome, meaning the spotlight will once again be on her in Paris.
“When you win a Grand Slam everybody will always remember that you won a Grand Slam,” Swiatek told BBC Sport.
“I don’t think of it like I have to defend the trophy and win the French Open because what I did is always going to be with me."
Swiaktek is quite revolutionary, for her age-group at least, in her use of a sports psychologist, with her using the talents of Daria Abramowicz to try to give herself a mental edge over others.
And, ahead of her first major title defence, she says that side of her preparation is more important than ever.
"Daria helped me a lot with all the expectations and all the stuff that was bothering me after the French Open because actually, I realised that sometimes it’s harder to deal with success than the times you are losing.
“Sometimes with my own expectations it’s hard but then I have to remind myself that I just have to focus on work and just remember why I play tennis and have fun on court, because sometimes I feel like I’m not playing for myself and that’s not a good thing.
“I just have to find that space where I just calm myself and remind myself that hopefully in two years I’m just going to be constantly in that mood when I just don’t worry and I’m just having fun, because I think that’s what the biggest champions do, they just don’t care and they just play and focus on their job.”
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