The tennis world was left in awe as two of the greatest players of all time, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, faced off in the semifinals of the French Open. With both players displaying exceptional skills and determination, it was a match for the ages.
As the intense battle unfolded, the crowd watched in anticipation. They knew that every point could be the difference between victory and defeat. Nadal, the King of Clay, was determined to continue his reign on the red dirt of Roland Garros, while Djokovic was determined to prove that he was the greatest player of all time.
🙈Congratulations @RafaelNadal! It’s amazing to kind of share this experience with you. Am I even allowed to say this?🙈
— Iga Świątek (@iga_swiatek) October 11, 2020
In the end, it was Djokovic who emerged victorious, defeating Nadal in an epic four-set match. After, 4 hrs and 10 mins of intense battle, it became the first match where Nadal lost after winning an opening set in Ronald Garros. As the final point plays, the crowd erupts in cheers, but amidst the chaos, there was one person who couldn’t hold back her tears – Iga Swiatek.
What does Swiatek have to say about Nadal’s greatness
Iga has had total admiration for Nadal ever since her childhood. “Rafa has always been my idol. I have pretty sad memories of Roland Garros last year because I was crying when Rafa lost against Novak.” said Iga as she could no longer hold back.
“But [Nadal] for sure he inspired me a lot,” Swiatek said proudly. “I had a lot of fun watching him play on TV. Basically, his mental strength is the main thing I wanted to take from him. I wanted to play topspin like him, too. He is the reason why I play like this,” Swiatek said.
Champion mentality 🏆@iga_swiatek x @RafaelNadal#RolandGarros pic.twitter.com/KABvw57cSH
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) June 4, 2022
Much like most of us, Iga adores the way down to earth and the humble character of Nadal. “It doesn’t seem like the success has changed him (Rafa)”, says Swiantek.
Iga has been a regular audience in Nadal’s stands. In the 2021 Australian Open when all odds were in favor of Daniil Medvedev, Iga was really nervous about how the match is heading. “In the beginning, I thought it’s going to be hard for Rafa. playing that way. To get the score around, to actually start winning. Especially with Daniil being so confident and going forward.” commented Iga.
“Then during the match, I thought, if he’s going to win, it’s going to be a mind-blowing win. He’s going to show why he’s Rafa, why he won so many slams.” That match ended in a five-set victory for Rafa after coming back from 2 sets down. Nadal won the match and the tournament.