World No. 1 and US Open champion Iga Swiatek speaks to CNN about her career and the life-challenging decision that inspired her to compete at Wimbledon
A life-changing story – Iga Swiatek was born in Poland, where she lives and trains as an elite athlete
Iga was told that her dad never went to bed without telling her stories about growing up in the US
Iga Swiatek had always dreamed of going to Wimbledon. She didn’t take long to find out that dream was made possible thanks to her father, who made it to the final at Wimbledon in 1968. That was a moment, she said, that would be her life-changer.
“I always had a dream of going to Wimbledon and meeting Roger Federer,” she said. “At the time I just assumed I would have to come straight from finishing my education. I didn’t have enough time.”
Her dad had recently been released from jail in South Dakota after being convicted on two counts of bank robbery and a conspiracy charge. He said he went to prison because he feared for his life.
“He got a bad rap,” said Iga, who grew up in the US and went on to play on the United States women’s national team. “He said he was in prison because he feared for his life.”
Iga spoke publicly about her father for the first time in a documentary short film released last month at the Open championship in London. In that clip, she revealed how he grew up in a family in which her mother was the only parent. Iga’s father is not one of the people who know the details, but he was aware and acknowledged his role in her success. He said in the documentary that he and his wife, Lola “always taught us how to be a good man”.
“At the beginning, I was a little bit sad, then I got a bit angry,” Iga said. “They say