“He Was Not Playing His 100%”: Iga Swiatek on Training With Rafael Nadal

Published 10/09/2021, 1:26 AM EDT
PARIS, FRANCE – MAY 29: Winners of the 2020 French Open seven months ago, Rafael Nadal of Spain and Iga Swiatek of Poland practice together for 20 minutes on Court 5 ahead of the French Open 2021, Grand Slam tennis tournament at Roland-Garros stadium on May 29, 2021 in Paris, France. (Photo by John Berry/Getty Images)


Second seed Iga Swiatek is through to the third round in her debut Indian Wells tournament. She defeated Croatian Petra Martic in straight sets 6-1, 6-3 in 71 minutes. Following the match, the 20-year-old Pole reflected on practicing with Rafael Nadal earlier this year. Iga also revealed that she would love to practice with Andy Murray in the desert.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

At the French Open 2021, both Rafael Nadal and Iga Swiatek lost their title defense campaign. However, before the start of that tournament, the defending champions took to the practice courts together. Notably, it was a birthday present for Swiatek from her psychologist.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Iga Swiatek on hitting with Rafael Nadal at French Open 2021

It is common knowledge that Rafael Nadal is Iga Swiatek‘s childhood idol. Earlier, on the ATP Cross Court show, she also explained that her admiration for him is not only about the game.

However, specifically about the training, the Pole admitted that Rafa did not play as himself. But Swiatek also felt that his topspin was as good as he hits during a live match.

“Tennis-wise, I don’t think he was playing 100%,” Swiatek laughed nervously. “First of all, I was so excited because that was my birthday present from my psychologist. I was not expecting that at all.”

PARIS, FRANCE – MAY 29: Winners of the 2020 French Open seven months ago, Rafael Nadal of Spain and Iga Swiatek of Poland practice together for 20 minutes on Court 5 – here with Carlos Moya, coach of Rafael Nadal (center) – ahead of the French Open 2021, Grand Slam tennis tournament at Roland-Garros stadium on May 29, 2021 in Paris, France. (Photo by John Berry/Getty Images)

Interestingly, both Rafa and Iga won the Italian Open this year. Besides, the 20-year-old expressed how she felt after meeting her idol, the 20-time Grand Slam champion. 

“I was not sure if I would talk to him normally or I would stutter,” she continued. “So, I learned that he is a normal guy, and that’s the best part of it because it feels like the success did not change him.”

Swiatek on practicing with Andy Murray at Indian Wells 2021

Since Nadal is not playing Indian Wells this year, Steve Weissman from Tennis Channel asked Swiatek who she wanted to practice with from the main draw. And she took the name of three-time Grand Slam champion, Andy Murray

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

“That’s a tough one. I would say, I would love to play with Andy Murray. We had a little chat on Twitter, so maybe it’s possible right now to finally play. He also seems like such a nice guy; a good sense of humor,” Swiatek explained.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Do you think Swiatek and Murray will find the right time to become each other’s hitting partners? Only time will tell us that.

Watch this story: A Day With Young Serena Williams and Venus Williams

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Purav Joshi

1211 articles

Purav Joshi is a Senior Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 1000 tennis articles.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT