PARIS -- Iga Swiatek revealed Taylor Swift helped her navigate the blank space of life when younger, and listening to Swift's songs helped her learn English.
Swiatek, ranked No. 1 in the world, continued her march at the 2023 French Open with a 6-4, 6-0 second-round win over Claire Liu on Thursday, a day after she celebrated her 22nd birthday. After some nervy moments in the opening set, which she managed to shake off, she powered through in style.
After the match she signed the camera "I'm feeling 22! #Swiftie".
"You know, when I was younger and kind of confused about life and when I was a teenager, when I listened to her, I didn't feel alone," Swiatek said of Swift. "Also, I learned English by listening to her songs, so she was always kind of close to me."
After her birthday on Wednesday, Swiatek said the Swift song "22" has been on repeat "in my head for sure" but wasn't sure which era she's in right now.
"I don't think I'll ever get to Reputation era, though, because it's pretty aggressive," said Swiatek. "I love these two albums -- 'Folklore' and 'Evermore.'
"But in terms of my mindset and kind of how I feel, it's hard to say which one I'm in."
Swiatek did say that "Red," Swift's 2012 album that featured the singles "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," "I Knew You Were Trouble," and "22," was her favorite.
She knows the Swift songs all too well but opts for some other music before she steps out on the red clay at Roland Garros.
"I'm not listening to her before my matches. I don't think it will pump me up. Maybe 'Shake it Off' when I'm more stressed," said Swiatek, who will play Xinyu Wang in the third round on Saturday. "Today was Lenny Kravitz, and usually I'm listening to more rock. Not too hard, but the bands that are kind of mainstream, and they have a lot of energy in their songs."