Rafael Nadal is More ‘Likeable’ Than Roger Federer, Claims Iga Swiatek’s Coach

Published 11/03/2020, 4:12 AM EST
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – Spain’s Rafael Nadal celebrates with the trophy after winning the French Open final against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Charles Platiau


The coach of reigning French Open women’s champion Iga Swiatek has labelled Rafael Nadal as the ‘more likeable’ of the ‘Big Three’ of men’s tennis.

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The ‘Dead Net Cord’ made a brief compilation of the statements by Piotr Sierzputowski, Swiatek’s coach, after her maiden Grand Slam win at the Roland Garros this year.

The coach shared his thoughts on Nadal and his peers, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic based on his studious observations and assessment of their off-court habits from close quarters.

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“I understand why Iga is such a big Rafael Nadal fan,” says Swiatek’s coach

I understand why Iga is such a big Rafa fan. He’s a great, well-mannered guy who always says hello, winks at you, smiles at you. He is never rude,” the coach said of the 20-time Grand Slam champion. 

On the 17-time Grand Slam winning Serb, the coach said, Djokovic is very helpful, there is no denying it.” However, his reading of Federer, also the holder of 20 Grand Slam titles, wasn’t as flattering. “Roger is a legend, you can’t hate him, but he won’t be able to be loved as much as Rafa.,” the coach said.

“Roger is not where all players are” – Iga Swiatek’s coach

Roger is not where all the players are, he disappears. Rafa plays board games with his team, sits with other players, and eats the same thing as everyone else,” Sierzputowski said. Roger has his own cook who travels with him. These details make Rafa more likeable, more human, although he is a machine on the court.”

Recently, 59th-ranked Frenchman Gilles Simon waxed eloquent on Nadal’s humility on and off court.  Simon, who is set to unveil his book ‘This Game That Makes You Crazy’  soon, said that Nadal’s humility stems from how he starts every match from scratch ‘despite his record’.

“That’s humility: being in the present, despite the record. How many quarter finals has Nadal made at Indian Wells (ATP event in California)? If that hasn’t happened to him ten times… well he didn’t care,” reads an excerpt from Simon’s book.

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(All quotes have been translated)

Spain’s Rafael Nadal celebrates after winning the French Open final against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Charles Platiau

Apart from fulsome praise from some of his fellow peers, Nadal’s infectious charm and likeability have won him plenty of admirers across the globe. Currently at No. 2 in the ATP rankings, Nadal is bidding for his 36th Masters title in the ongoing Rolex Paris Masters.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

1101 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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