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Tennis-Swiatek puts business first but keen to enjoy wins at French Open

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By Shrivathsa Sridhar

PARIS (Reuters) – Iga Swiatek’s laser focus at Grand Slams means she barely gets to celebrate her wins, but the French Open top seed said she is learning to mix business with pleasure after reaching the semi-finals at Roland Garros on Wednesday.

The Polish world number one overcame an early test on a windy centre court to move past sixth seed Coco Gauff 6-4 6-2 and celebrated the win by pumping her fists in an emotional release that was missing from her previous matches.

“I’d say I’m that a player who still has to learn to enjoy playing and winning, because when I finish matches, I usually just think about the next one. The moments of enjoyment are usually after the tournament,” Swiatek told reporters.

“I hope I’m going to progress… we play many tournaments throughout the year and I learned how to also just be happy… today I’m not going to think about tomorrow’s match until the rest of the evening. I’m just going to enjoy that I won.

“These are the small things that help you keep a more positive attitude and energy. But usually with me, it’s all about business and then I’ll enjoy.”

Swiatek will face Beatriz Haddad Maia in the last four on Thursday after the world number 14 defeated Ons Jabeur to become the first Brazilian woman since Maria Bueno in 1968 to reach a major semi-final.

Haddad Maia overcame Swiatek in three sets on the hardcourts of Toronto last year and the Pole is aware of the big challenge ahead of her.

“For sure she’s a fighter and she showed even today she’s fighting until the last ball. It pays off,” Swiatek said.

“We played in Toronto and I would say actually this was one of the matches that had similar conditions in terms of the wind. It was also windy that day.

“Obviously the surface is different, so we’ll see. I’ve never played against her on clay. Again, as before any other match, I’ll focus on myself and what I want to do on court.”

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Paris; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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