World-class athletes are always on the cutting edge of training innovation.
But seeing the world No. 1 of tennis partially restrict her own breathing?
That’s a new one.
Fans spotted Polish star Iga Swiatek training for the upcoming Canadian Open in Montreal with a piece of tape over her mouth, prompting widespread confusion.
But a few knowledgeable fans have clarified that Swiatek is simply training by just using her nose to breathe.
This can provide advantages in a demanding sport such as tennis, where stamina is paramount.
“Lower lactic acid levels, increased lactate threshold, and less inflammation through reduced white blood cell count — just some of the benefits of nasal-only breathing,” Jeffrey Boadi, a nutrition writer, noted on Twitter. “Efficient breathing will equal better performance.”
“It’s a more efficient and effective method of oxygen delivery to the body’s muscles, whoever has her training this way is smart tbh. They’re aiming for maximum endurance and knowing Iga, she’ll get there,” another Twitter user, @downthreebreaks, added.
The 22-year-old star is one of the most accomplished women’s players to fill the void following the Serena Williams era.
Swiatek has already won four Grand Slams, including three titles at the French Open and one Wimbledon championship.
She is coming off a win at her home Warsaw Open in Poland, where she handily defeated Laura Siegemund, 6-0,6-1 in the final.
“What a week it was. I read somewhere that the 250 WTA tournament is not as important as my next challenges in Canada and in the US,” she wrote after her win. “Well…to me it was VERY important and I’m happy I felt so much support and positive energy from you, fans. Thank you for that and see you soon.”
Swiatek, as the current No. 1, looks like the clear favorite to take the National Bank Open in Montreal.
Her greatest competition coming likely will be Maria Sakkari, the No. 8 player in the world.