Iga Swiatek  pulls on the heartstrings of US Open crowd with honest admission: ‘I don't have many friends’


Top-ranked women’s tennis pro Iga Swiatek had a near-perfect game during Friday’s third-round match, but she did take issue with one aspect of her performance. 

Beating her best friend. 

Iga Swiatek hugs her friend

Kaja Juvan of Slovenia is embraced by Iga Swiatek of Poland at the net after her 6-0, 6-1 loss in the Women’s Singles round three match at Louis Armstrong Stadium during the U.S. Open Tennis Championship 2023 at the USTA National Tennis Centre on September 1, 2023, in Flushing, Queens, New York City.   (Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

Swiatek defeated longtime friend Kaja Juvan in a brutal fashion on Friday afternoon, advancing to the second week of the U.S. Open after a 49-minute showcase where Juvan was able to win just one game. 

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“I didn’t like the fact that I was kind of winning [against] my best friend. But I knew that I had to be really focused and not let myself think about that,” Swiatek said when asked if there was anything she didn’t like about the way she played. 

“It was literally like playing against a sister, because we’ve known each other for so long. I don’t have many friends, but she’s my best friend.”

Iga Swiatek hugs her friend

Poland’s Iga Swiatek embraces her best friend defeated Slovenia’s Kaja Juvan during the U.S. Open tennis tournament women’s singles third round match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City, on September 1, 2023.  (KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images)

The comment drew a loud “Aw” from the crowd and quickly turned to cheers. 

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The 22-year-old tennis player is already a four-time Grand Slam champion and is looking to defend her title at the U.S. Open this year. 

“I kind of have to learn to find more joy in that,” she said Friday of her accomplishments. I’m always looking to the future, trying to do the best job another day, so I’m glad I have people on my team who kind of remind me of the good work that I’m doing. It’s good to appreciate the process and the progress.”

Iga Swiatek cheers the crowd on

Poland’s Iga Swiatek celebrates defeating Slovenia’s Kaja Juvan in their U.S. Open tennis tournament women’s singles third-round match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York on September 1, 2023.  (KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images)

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She will play the winner of the Jelena Ostapenko and Bernarda Pera match on Sunday.

 



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