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2 Months After Bizarre Novak Djokovic Revelation at the French Open, Iga Swiatek Opens Up on Her Strange ‘Endurance’ Building Method

Published 08/09/2023, 4:01 AM EDT

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Iga Swiatek is on a roll by winning titles and protecting her place at the top of the rankings. She recently completed her 100 matches as the WTA No. 1 and became the 8th player to achieve this feat. A peculiar yet unique way of practicing physical fitness and perfecting breathing techniques to improve the game is spreading across the top champions. Swiatek was spotted adopting an offbeat technique,  similar to the Serb Novak Djokovic, and even explained the rationale behind the approach.

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The Pole has always been mindful of her physical and mental strength. She is the only one to travel with a Sports Psychologist to all her tournaments. The WTA No. 1 will participate in the National Bank Open after her 4th singles title win of the year at the Poland Open.

Iga Swiatek is on her way to ‘tape’ as many achievements as possible


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The 4 times Grand Slam champion practiced with a tape tied to her mouth. She attended the media day before her next tournament and revealed how it helps her manage to breathe unconventionally. This was taught to her by Maciej Ryszczuk, her fitness coach, and Swiatek is obeying his methods.

According to the official website of WTA, the Pole said, “It’s harder to breathe when you’re only breathing with your nose, and it’s easier for my heart rate to go up. I’m not going to explain it to you perfectly because I’m not an expert. Sometimes I don’t get the things they tell me to do, but I’m doing that for a long time now, so it got pretty easy.”


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Talking about the change, Swiatek added, “But for sure you can see the difference in how everything you do on the court is getting more and more hard with that tape on your mouth. So I guess it’s the way to kind of work on my endurance by not having me run so fast and do extreme things.” Novak Djokovic applied a similar technique during the French Open, where he claimed the men’s singles title this year.

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The Pole’s practice strongly resembles Djoker’s ‘Iron Man’ approach

Unique practices always find their way to the Serb before anyone else can get their hands on it. During the second round of Roland Garros, the commentator Jim Courier spotted Djoker with a tiny metal disc taped to his chest. He joked about Djokovic being an Iron Man, as the disc was placed in the same place as the Marvel’s comic character.


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When the ATP 2nd seed was asked about the device in the post-match conference, he dodged the question and instead picked on Courier’s reaction. The 23 times Grand Slam champion issued a sarcastic response saying that he loved Iron Man as a kid and that his team develops the best nanotechnology ever.

Djoker even joked that he owes his career to the tiny object, which is the biggest secret of his career. While Swiatek’s reason for taping her mouth is clear, Djokovic’s mini Arc Reactor-like object still remains a mystery.


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Written by:

Krishna Priya


One take at a time

Vadlamani Krishna Priya is a tennis writer at Essentially Sports. Pursuing her passion for storytelling, she has a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. Helped by her cousin who introduced her to the rules and regulations of the game during her childhood, Roger Federer matches became Priya's gateway to the world of tennis.
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Edited by:

Tony Thomas