Robert Prange—Getty Images

When Iga Swiatek plays tennis, three things come to mind: beauty, power, and truth. Throughout her rise to the top of tennis—and the top of sport—Iga has shown vulnerability and courage. She strives relentlessly to improve her game. She gives credit to those who have supported her, without discounting her own skills and work. She has advocated for mental health and supported Ukrainians in their fight to protect their home. As an athlete, and more importantly as a human, she embodies the kind of confidence that everyone should emulate—the confidence of action over mere talk.

To rise to the top of tennis with the limited resources she had coming from Poland is remarkable. She has ignited a nation and given the next generation a reason to believe they can also achieve something incredible. She reminds us all that it’s OK to feel disappointment—and it’s also OK to feel proud of ourselves.

When Iga walks out on the court, she puts her eye on the ball, and she doesn’t let it stray.

Shiffrin is an alpine skiing champion who holds the record for most World Cup wins

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at

Olena Zelenska
Lionel Messi
Aubrey Plaza
Michael B. Jordan
Colleen Hoover
5 stories