Iga Swiatek's Indian Wells title defense ground to a straight-sets semifinal loss to Elena Rybakina on Friday, with the world number one later revealing she has been battling a rib injury.
“For sure, Elena played great tennis today, and I think I have to play better against her,” Swiatek said after losing 6-2, 6-2 to the Wimbledon champion. ,
“Honestly, I feel like it's me and my mistakes,” she said. “I'm not feeling 100% physically either. I've got a little bit of trouble with my rib, and we're going to consult with the medical team.”
Swiatek said she still plans to defend her title at the Miami Open starting next week.
“For now I am preparing to play, but we will see what the next day is going to tell us,” she said. “I don't know yet.”
Swiatek was frustrated that she was unable to execute the strategy her coach had devised after analyzing her loss to Rybakina in Melbourne.
“We were thinking about the Australian Open more like we wanted to learn a lesson from that match in a way,” she said. “We were analyzing … so I just wanted to use his tips and improve my game. But I wasn't able to do that today.”
She said she didn't have much experience playing through injury, the only instance she recalled coming at the 2019 French Open.
“It's definitely a new situation for me,” the 21-year-old said. “Obviously it is a completely different level now. So I think you have to be 100% fit for the matches.
“I'm playing, so there's some fatigue all the time,” she said. “I would say it's stable, but I'm pretty sure tomorrow or the day after tomorrow recovery will kick in.”