Swiatek puts studies on the back burner to focus on tennis
PARIS (Reuters) - Polish teenage girl Iga Swiatek decided to postpone university for two years in order to make it in tennis - a decision that was amply rewarded on Thursday when she reached the French Open final.
Any doubts she had about pursuing a tennis career beyond her studies were all but resolved when the 19-year-old became the youngest player to reach the Roland Garros women's final in 19 years by beating the Argentine qualifier Nadia Podoroska 6 -2 6-1.
"Well, right now, it will be difficult to make a decision to go back to college because I feel like I can achieve really great things," Swiatek told reporters. "I just want to focus on that.
"But I'm only 19 years old, so a lot can change in a few years. We'll see. Maybe I'll get hungry for knowledge or something. I won't make a decision now."
Swiatek ousted top seed Simona Halep en route to the clay Grand Slam final and could become the youngest since Monica Seles in 1992 to win the Suzanne Lenglen Cup if she can beat Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin on Saturday.
"Right now I'm having a hard time learning in this tournament and after," she added. "So I'll just focus on doing tennis, tennis-related things, the best I can. I'll just take care of that later.
"I think if I get to be in a couple of Grand Slam finals it would be impossible to consistently learn and play this type of tennis."
Swiatek was the first Polish woman to reach the Roland Garros final in 81 years and the first in a major since Agnieszka Radwanska at Wimbledon eight years ago.
"It seems unreal. On the one hand, I know I can play great tennis. On the other hand, it's a bit surprising to me," she said. "I never thought I'd be in the final. It's crazy.
"I just kept believing in myself. It's amazing to me. It's like a dream come true. Basically, I was a bit overwhelmed.
"It's actually hard to believe. I think it will happen to me after the tournament. At the moment I'm just living the dream."
(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; Editing by Toby Davis)
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