Iga Swiatek has never met Serena Williams because she’s ‘too shy’
The world’s top-ranked tennis player has made the extraordinary admission that she has never spoken to Serena Williams because she is “too shy” to speak to the 23-time Grand Slam champion.
Iga Swiatek is a two-time French Open champion herself and has been in the top spot since retired Ash Barty was dropped from the standings in April.
The 21-year-old can equal one of the many records held by Williams with a victory in Cincinnati this week, where a victory will see her become the first player since Williams in 2013 to win seven tournaments before the US Open.
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But not only did the pair never clash, Swiatek confirmed they never even met.
“Thing is, I’m having trouble making eye contact with Serena. And I just wanted to say ‘Hi’ a few times,” she said.
“But it’s difficult because she always has a lot of people around her and I’m quite shy.
“And when I look at her, I suddenly forget that I’m here as world number one.”
“I see Serena and it’s, ‘Wow, Serena’, you know?” she added.
“And I feel like a kindergarten kid just looking at her. So it’s hard. I haven’t spoken to her but I’m just trying to say ‘Hi’ .”
When it was pointed out that Serena would definitely know who she was, Swiatek was unconvinced.
“I do not know!”
Swiatek has a bye to the second round in Cincinnati, where she will meet the winner of the match between Sloane Stephens and Alizé Cornet.
Williams will open her campaign against last year’s US Open champion Emma Raducanu.
If the pair are to meet for the first time, they will need to appear in the final, with Swiatek and Williams on opposite sides of the draw.
The US Open later this month is expected to be the final farewell for Williams, who has announced she is withdrawing from the match.
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