2020 French Open champ Swiatek splits from long-time coach

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Iga Swiatek, the 2020 French Open champion, announced Saturday that she is splitting from coach Piotr Sierzputowski after nearly six years working together.

“This change is really challenging for me and this decision wasn’t easy, either,” Swiatek wrote in a post on Instagram that was accompanied by a photo of the pair touching index fingers during a break in a match.

Swiatek, who is from Poland, hired Sierzputowski as her coach in January 2016, when she was 15 and still playing in junior tournaments.

Now 20, she has won a Grand Slam championship and reached a career high of No. 4 in the WTA rankings.

“I would like to thank you Coach for everything that you did for me. We gave each other so much and I hope that we’ll continue to grow and develop with this experience we’ve gained together,” Swiatek wrote. “I owe you a lot and truly appreciate the time we’ve spent together. All those years enabled us to be in the place that we are now.”

Swiatek did not say who her new coach would be.

She went 36-15 with two tour titles in 2021, finishing No. 9 in the rankings. Her title defense at Roland Garros ended in the quarterfinals; she lost in the fourth round at each of the other three majors this year.

“As tennis players we meet on our path a lot of people who contribute great value into our work and, often, into our life too, because we spend almost the whole year on tour together,” Swiatek said. “I found out that sometimes in our professional life we need changes to develop more, evolve and meet other people with whom we’re going to create a cooperation for the next stages of our development.”

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