Iga Swiatek Shares Image With Naomi Osaka’s Cutout, the Japanese Star Responds

Published 04/28/2021, 2:00 PM EDT
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 14, 2021 Poland’s Iga Swiatek celebrates during her fourth round match against Romania’s Simona Halep REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake


While their rivalry on court is budding, Naomi Osaka and Iga Swiatek are also the best of friends when they are not going for each other’s throats (no, not literally) in the competitive arena. They keep up socially as well as on social media, often engaging in harmless banters.

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In the latest illustration of their chumminess off court, the reigning French Open champion shared a picture of herself in a press room at Madrid, beaming at a larger-than-life cutout of the Japanese tennis star in the background.

The Pole has reached the Spanish capital, where she will launch her claycourt campaign at the Mutua Madrid Open.

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Greeted with the Osaka cutout in the press room, she saw the funny side and shared an image of herself with it, tagging the reigning Australian Open champion and drawing her into a ROFL-ing exchange.

Iga Swiatek posts, Naomi Osaka comments

Swiatek shared the image of herself smiling at the Osaka cutout, which was from her winning moment at the Australian Open, on her Twitter and Instagram handles and tagged with a message saying, “How’s your day going @naomiosaka?”

To her Insta post, the Japanese World No.2 replied, “lol I can’t with you (emojis)”.

The WTA, too, reacted to the adorable post with two love-eyed emojis.

On Twitter, the reigning US Open champion responded, wondering why the organizers had left a cutout of herself “for no reason”.

“Lol did they just have that in the press room for no reason (emojis)?” Osaka wrote to Swiatek’s post.

One user commented that the Pole probably requested the cutout to be placed there so she could pull Osaka’s leg.

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The two young guns have only met each other once on a tennis court, the 2019 Rogers Cup, with the Japanese winning in straight sets.

Despite all the camaraderie off court, one suspects that Swiatek will have memories of that defeat and will be nursing a quiet desire to get even the next time they cross paths on a tennis court.

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Could that be Madrid? Well, you never know.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

832 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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