PARIS — Iga Swiatek, unbeaten since February, was sitting in the players’ restaurant at the French Open and twisting her head right and left at high speed, her eyes comically wide as they darted to and fro.
This was her impression of her former self.
“I remember a time when I was only able to focus for like 40 minutes and suddenly my head was like a pigeon,” Swiatek said in an interview. “I was looking everywhere but where I should have been looking.”
Her gaze and her game are quite steadier now. After winning the French Open in 2020 out of the blue and out of season in October as an unseeded teenager, she is back in Paris this year in the spring as a dominant and increasingly intimidating world No. 1.