ROME — Say this about Iga Swiatek: The World No.1 hasn’t lost a match since dipping into Taylor Swift’s “The Tortured Poets Department,” the Grammy award winner’s new album.

“I listened to it straightaway after Stuttgart,” the World No.1 told reporters at Media Day ahead of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

“Totally different vibe than “Midnights.” I most like the songs that are kind of leaning toward the vibe of “Folklore” and “Evermore.” I would love her to come back to that.”

After sifting through the 31-song tracklist, Swiatek has distilled the album to her favorite tracks on a separate playlist.

“I know Taylor wouldn’t approve of me listening to only some of them, but I have my picks,” Swiatek said.

“Now I’m going to get hate that I don’t remember titles and I’m not a real Swiftie. I’m sorry, guys. I’m not the best kind of Swiftie, but … don’t judge me.”

For those keeping track at home, those tracks include The Albatross, So Long, London, The Alchemist, Fortnight, Florida!!!, Chloe or Sam or Sophia or Marcus, and I Can Do It With a Broken Heart.

“Well, tennis only broke my heart a couple of times, so I can relate sometimes,” Swiatek said. “Tennis can be heartbreaking, and then you have to go on court and play again.”

That’s not the vibe for Swiatek this week in Rome, though. The World No.1 added to her own lore last weekend, coming through a match-point-saving victory over No.2 Aryna Sabalenka in the final of the Mutua Madrid Open to capture her 20th career title and third of the season.

“It’s pretty crazy being in Madrid, packing straightaway after the final and coming here,” Swiatek said.

“I’m happy to be here because I love this place. I have already practiced today in the morning. It’s fun. For sure it’s a challenge to adapt. But it’s nice to have problems like that.”

Rome: Swiatek bests Jabeur for 5th straight title, 28th straight win

Top-seeded in Rome, Swiatek is bidding to become the first three-time champion at the Foro Italico since Serena Williams won in 2013, 2014 and 2016. After a first-round bye, she will open her tournament against either No.54 Caroline Dolehide or Bernarda Pera.

Swiatek is as experienced as anyone at managing the quick turnaround between back-to-back tournaments. It helps that she is a momentum player, one who seems to only get stronger as she tallies successive wins. One of the keys to Swiatek’s ability to maintain her winning momentum has been extending herself grace.

“I’m not expecting myself to be fresh,” Swiatek said. “Truly, like when I came to Madrid, I was more tired at the beginning of the tournament after Stuttgart than I was actually before the final. It really depends how the matches are going to look like.

“I know that if I’m going to stay longer in a tournament, I might have some days off where I don’t even practice. We’re trying to plan it differently than last seasons because we are worried. These tournaments are longer and it’s not possible to have days off before, so sometimes you have to have them during.”

That approach worked perfectly in Madrid, where Swiatek took a full day before the Round of 16.

“I mean, my coaches are planning it,” Swiatek said. “No point for me to focus on that because I want to win the first matches, and we’ll see what’s going to happen afterwards.

“If I lose, then I’m going to have a hundred days off.”


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