Iga Swiatek was on a roll but decided to rest her shoulder when withdrawing from the Madrid Open late last month.
She is back this week and ready to defend her Italian Open title, with the fortnight away from the WTA Tour – which included a stint at Rafael Nadal’s academy in Mallorca – seemingly allowing her to press the reset button.
"It's pretty weird because I really rested, then they almost killed me on the practices," Swiatek told reporters in the Italian capital. "Hopefully it's going to give me more power and I'm going to be more ready to play well next tournaments."
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Swiatek is the heavy favourite for the WTA 1000 event, and will face either Shelby Rogers or Alison Riske after receiving a first-round bye.
The world No. 1 is on a 23-match winning streak, and despite winning her past four events – Doha, Indian Wells, Miami and Stuttgart - the Pole is only looking forward with Roland-Garros around the corner.
“I feel like the chapter is a little bit closed,” Swiatek said. “Still I'm coming back to [these] moments, which is maybe not good sometimes because you can get your expectations high.
“I'm working this season also not to look [back] on what happened - doesn't matter if it's good or bad - just looking forward. I think it's going to give me more freedom. My mind is going to be more clear.”

"My tennis is going the right way" - Swiatek on attaining world no.1 ranking

There is no escaping the fact Swiatek is now the player to beat on tour, with some of her nearest challengers full of compliments for the 2020 French Open winner.
"She has something, not a superpower, but something special. She's like Eleven in [TV series] Stranger Things. She has something,” said Maria Sakkari, with Ons Jabeur saying “she inspires us” and Naomi Osaka adding: “It’s really cool to see her playing that well and I really want to play her on clay just to see what happens.”
Swiatek said of the praise: “That is probably one of the nicest things I experienced on tour, I would say. I saw what Coco [Gauff] was saying and Ons. I wasn't even hoping that players were going to talk about me that way because it's such a nice thing.
“Honestly, I'm pretty glad with just being myself and people are thinking that I'm nice and stuff. It's kind of sometimes overwhelming that they're looking up to me because honestly, two years ago, I was the one looking up to everybody. It's such a new position for me that I don't really know how to react.
“Hopefully I'm going to get used to it and, hopefully, I'm going to have a chance to show good work and good kind of examples.”

Iga Swiatek of Poland during Media Day on Day 2 of the Internazionali BNL D'Italia at Foro Italico on May 09

Image credit: Getty Images

The pressure is on Swiatek to win a second Grand Slam at Roland-Garros, although her immediate priority is acclimatising to the clay courts of Rome with the French Open just a fortnight away.
"Last year I feel like I still was trying to find some consistency in the wins that I had, and also confirmation that Roland-Garros wasn't just like a [one-off] tournament," Swiatek added.
"I feel like I found that and I feel like I can move forward and just focus on my next goals.
"The tournaments that I played this year have shown me that I can play better tennis on hard courts. Right now the transition that I have to do to clay, it's pretty different because usually it was like, 'Whoa, clay, finally I can play well.' Right now it's a little bit different because I feel like my level was high anyway. It didn't strike me [the same] this year."
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