“Seems Like a Really Humble Guy”: Iga Swiatek Shows Her Treasured Gift from Idol Rafael Nadal

Published 04/13/2021, 2:38 PM EDT
Mar 27, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Iga Swiatek of Poland reacts after missing a shot against Ana Konjuh of Croatia (not pictured) in the third round in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Polish teen sensation Iga Swiatek has revealed a priceless object that adorns one of her walls; a gift from her favorite tennis icon.


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In an Instagram chat with American Alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin, the reigning French Open champion said that though she didn’t watch tennis when she was little, she later started admiring Rafael Nadal.

Iga Swiatek reveals that a signed T-shirt she received from Rafael Nadal adorns her wall


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And it’s a signed T-shirt from the 20-time Grand Slam champion that is the most treasured piece of memorabilia in her room, the 19-year-old Swiatek said.

“In tennis, I didn’t even have any idol because when I was younger, I didn’t really watch tennis,” the current World No.16 said.

She added that whatever little tennis she played back then, outside of school, was enough and she didn’t follow the game much on television. However, that was before she became an avowed fan of the Spaniard.

“I really like Rafa Nadal, he’s the best. Actually, there’s a T-shirt with his signature on my wall,” the Pole said.

She then directs her webcam to a portion of the wall where the framed grey T-shirt, signed by the tennis great, hangs proudly.

Aside from the gift, there’s also a framed poster of Nadal holding aloft one of his 13 French Open trophies.

“Success didn’t change him”: Iga Swiatek on Rafael Nadal

Taking Shiffrin through her wall and what’s on it, Swiatek further said, “I really like Rafa, not only on court but also off court because he seems like a really humble guy. Success didn’t change him.”

She added that she likes Nadal’s style of tennis the most and would pay to watch him any day.

“I really like his style of game. It’s like if I would watch a match, I would watch Rafa,” the 19-year-old said.


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LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 12: Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts in his Men’s Singles semi-final match against Roger Federer of Switzerland during Day eleven of The Championships – Wimbledon 2019 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 12, 2019, in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Following up on her maiden Grand Slam title at Roland-Garros last year, Swiatek picked up her first Tour title at WTA Adelaide International this year.


“Gonna Have Other Chances”: Iga Swiatek Doesn’t Have Big Aspirations for Tokyo Olympics

3 months ago


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She reached the fourth round of this year’s Australian Open before going down to two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep in three sets.


Priyabrata Chowdhury

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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.