Tennis: Stones fan Swiatek keeps music a closely guarded secret at Australian Open

AFP , Thursday 18 Jan 2024

Iga Swiatek refused to reveal the song she was listening to on her headphones at the Australian Open on Thursday, fearing it might become "the anthem of the tournament".

Poland s Iga Swiatek hits a return against USA s Danielle Collins during their women s singles match on day five of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 18, 2024. AFP


The Polish world number one battled back from 4-1 down in the third set to beat former finalist Danielle Collins 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.

Swiatek said she was grooving to a Rolling Stones song when she came onto Rod Laver Arena on day five of the tournament in Melbourne.

"I feel like when I'm really well-focused I am kind of repeating the same song throughout the whole match," she said.

"It gives me energy and I can kind of narrow my focus just to that song that I keep hearing and the technical stuff that I want to think about.

"I don't like when my brain is kind of picking up the songs from the changeovers because every time is a different one. I want to keep, yeah, hearing The Rolling Stones."

But the four-time Grand Slam champion was coy when asked which exact song she had chosen, fearing there was a danger it could be over-played.

"I don't want to say because I already said couple of times -- it became like the anthem of the tournament or whatever," she said.

"It ruined it a little bit for me. I don't want to say.

"I had on my first Roland Garros that I won, 'Welcome to the Jungle' (by Guns N' Roses). I couldn't even hear it ever again because of all this fuss that this song made."

Swiatek has had a tough draw in Melbourne -- beating former Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin in the first round before her second-round meeting with 2022 finalist Collins.

"I think it was even like the toughest one I ever had, maybe even more than when I was unseeded couple of years back," she said.

"I'm proud to survive this and I'm already thinking about the next goals."

Swiatek next faces unseeded Czech player Linda Noskova, but she rejected any idea that it might be less intense than the matches she has played so far.

"I don't mind actually that it was intense because I remember also when I started the tournament with some easy matches, then I felt I was a little bit rusty when the tough moments came," she said.

"Honestly, every Grand Slam, the path can look really different. But at the end I came to the conclusion that it doesn't really matter. You just have to be ready."

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