“She has broad horizons,” says Iga Swiatek, the uncannily mature 19-year-old who won the recent French Open. “Is that the right phrase? I’m sorry, I haven’t spoken English for a while.” It is absolutely the right phrase, I reply. And even though she is using it to describe one of her best friends – a talented percussionist who is training for an orchestral career – “broad horizons” would be a good description of Swiatek’s own character. Unusually for such a young tennis champion, she has such a variety of interests that – until only a few weeks ago – she had been weighing up the merits of four different university degrees: maths, music, psychotherapy and physiotherapy. Now, after the win at Roland Garros catapulted her world ranking from No 54 to No 17, Swiatek has finally accepted that tennis is her vocation. But that has not quenched her thirst to know more about the world. Last week, while serving out a mini Covid-19 quarantine, she started reading up on European politics. The making of Iga Swiatek, the teenager tipped to become the next tennis superstar “I decided to stay home for a few days,” said Swiatek earlier this week. “I met someone [in fact, the Polish president Andrzej Duda] who tested positive for Covid-19, but it was only for 15 seconds and he was wearing a mask and gloves. “Anyway, I thought I would use the time to learn something new about politics and social issues. I spend so many hours on court, and right now when I don’t have school, I am just trying to find out more about what’s going on in Europe. When I am abroad, it’s hard to be on top of what is happening in Poland.” While Swiatek finds out more about Poland, Poland has gone gaga for Iga. She is the first Pole of either gender to win a slam, which is why President Duda called her into Warsaw’s Presidential Palace a week ago to award the Golden Cross of Merit. “The country went completely crazy,” says Wojtek Fibak, whose status as a top-10 player in the 1970s makes him one of only two previous significant tennis stars (the other being 2012 Wimbledon finalist Aga Radwanska) to have emerged from Poland since World War II. “During the second week of Roland Garros, I probably gave 100 interviews to all the radios and TV and internet platforms. There were TV crews standing in front of my house.”
The pit crew for NASCAR driver William Byron has been benched because of multiple positive tests for COVID-19. The regular Hendrick Motorsports crew for the No. 24 did not participate in Wednesday night’s race at Texas Motor Speedway and will also miss Sunday’s race at Martinsville Speedway. The crew for Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was used on Byron’s car at Texas and will again service the car at Martinsville.
Djokovic saved four set points in the opener against Croatia's Borna Coric to win 7-6(11) 6-3 to reach the third round of the Erste Bank Open in the Austrian capital. The win meant that the 17-times Grand Slam winner could only be stopped from tying Pete Sampras' record of finishing as year end No.1 for the sixth time if Rafael Nadal accepts a wild card in competing in Sofia next month. The 19-year-old Sinner won the Next Gen ATP Finals in 2019 and is currently at a career-high ranking of 43, having reached his maiden Grand Slam quarter final at this month's French Open.