Iga Swiatek Is Still Too Overwhelmed To Even Say “Hi” To Rafael Nadal
by Staff | May 28th, 2021, 10:17 pm
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Despite being a French Open champion like her idol Rafael Nadal, Iga Swiatek says she can’t barely muster the strength to even say “hi” to the King of Clay.

“For now I’m too overwhelmed to even say hi,” Swiatek said of approaching Nadal. “I’m a big fan of his, and if I’m gonna have a chance to, you know, ask him some stuff and also learn from him, it would be great, but we are both busy, so I know it’s gonna be hard to schedule that.”

Nadal will have that effect on people. Rafa even has a statue now!

And the two not only are the defending champions, they share birthdays during the tournament. Swiatek turns 20 on Sunday while Nadal will be 35 on Thursday.

“I thought about it, but I also think it’s kind of weird,” she joked of the birthdays. “I don’t know. I don’t know what to say, because it’s also some kind of superstition when you look at that stuff and try to compare each other.”

Swiatek opens her title defense on either Monday or Tuesday against good friend Kaja Juvan.

“It’s not easy to play against your best friend,” Swiatek said. “It wasn’t like nice to see that, because one of us is going to lose. But, you know, we know each other’s game pretty well, so I think the most important thing is gonna be to really be prepared in terms of tactics.

“We are friends, but on court everybody is equal. I am actually good at forgetting that I’m playing against my best friend and just, just playing tennis and just hitting the ball. I don’t know what’s philosophy on that, but yeah, I’m just ready, and I’m looking forward to that match.

“Of course it’s going to be tricky because it’s first round. It’s first match as defending champion and against Kaja. I just want to keep my routines and focus on little things. It gave me good results earlier, so hopefully it’s gonna be the same.”

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