“Will Be Able to Fulfil My Dreams”: Iga Swiatek Excited at Opportunity to Follow in Father’s Footsteps at Tokyo Olympics 2021

Published 07/14/2021, 2:46 AM EDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 7, 2021 Poland’s Iga Swiatek celebrates winning her fourth round match against Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes


Amid several top tennis stars skipping out of the Tokyo Olympics for one reason or the other, Polish tennis sensation Iga Swiatek has underlined her urge to play for her flag at the Summer Games.

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Speaking to a Spanish publication, the 2020 French Open champion said that she has dreamed of representing her country at the Olympics since her childhood and it is a “very important event” for her.

The 20-year-old Pole said there is no bigger sporting stage than the Olympics and the Tokyo Games represents an opportunity for her to repay all the love, adulation, support, and trust that her adoring fellow citizens have reposed in her.

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She said her father, who represented Poland in rowing in the 1988 Seoul Olympics, is her biggest inspiration to compete at the Games and it is his proud legacy that she wants to carry forward.

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Iga Swiatek says for her, Olympics has always been the event

Swiatek lifted two Tour titles this year — at Adelaide International and the Italian Open — and also reached the pre-quarters at Wimbledon.

However, she couldn’t defend her title at Roland-Garros, as her campaign was brought to an end in the quarterfinals by Greek star Maria Sakkari.

She wants to atone for her misses at the Tokyo Games and has already set sights on a golden summer in the Japanese capital.

“Two years ago I was wondering if I could get to be in this situation. For me, the Olympic Games have been a very important tournament for a long time. Many players are not going to compete in them, but for me they have always been the event,” Swiatek said.

(Quotes have been translated)

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Poland’s Iga Swiatek in action during her second round match against Italy’s Camila Giorgi REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

Swiatek says she grew up listening to stories about the Olympics from her father

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Swiatek added that she had heard stories about the Olympics from her father and had dreamed of following in the footsteps of her old man someday.

“Most importantly, thanks to my father, who was an Olympian in Seoul 1988, competing in rowing. Since I was a child, I’ve heard many positive things about the Olympic Games thanks to him and now in Tokyo, I will be able to fulfill my dreams,” the 20-year-old added.

However, the Games this year will not see some of the biggest names in the sport, including Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams, and Dominic Thiem.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

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Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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