“Great Hitting With You” – Rafael Nadal Grants Iga Swiatek Her Fangirl Moment Ahead of French Open 2021

Published 05/30/2021, 4:52 AM EDT
Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 16, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal in action during his final match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

While voicing a fervent wish of taking some time out with her idol Rafael Nadal and picking up more on the nuances of the game, Iga Swiatek said she was doubtful if it was possible as both had a lot on their plates of going into the French Open.

However, the Pole got her wish fulfilled as she joined the ‘King of Clay’ for practice at Roland-Garros.

Nadal broke the news on his official Instagram page as he shared a picture of himself beaming into the lenses along with 19-year-old Swiatek.


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There couldn’t have been a better way for the idol and his acolyte to come together without affecting their preparations for a successful title-defense at Roland-Garros.

Rafael Nadal wished Iga Swiatek good luck for the French Open

While Nadal clinched a record 13th title last year, the Pole became the youngest woman since Monica Seles to lift the French Open trophy last year.


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A post shared by Rafa Nadal (@rafaelnadal)

Call it a happy coincidence if you will, both had set foot in Paris on the back of winning the men’s and women’s championship titles in Rome.

The Spaniard, who will turn 35 next month, tagged his post with a message wishing the Pole “good luck” for the tournament.

“It was great hitting with you today @iga.swiatek @rolandgarros (emoji). Good luck for the tournament #RolandGarros #tennis #Paris,” Nadal wrote.

“If you’ll ever need a hitting partner…” – Swiatek responds to Nadal’s post

A delighted Swiatek responded to the post saying it was “super inspiring” to finally have her cherished moment with her idol.

She added cheekily that if the Spaniard ever happens to be on the lookout for a hitting partner, she would be readily available.

“That was super inspiring. If you’ll ever need a hitting partner, I’m here,” the Pole replied.

Watch This Story: “Too Overwhelmed to Even Say Hi”: Iga Swiatek Seeks Advice From Rafael Nadal Ahead of French Open 2021


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The Pole, who has made no secret of her admiration for the 13-time Roland-Garros champion, was asked during a press meet whether she would love to seek a word of advice from the champion on how to defend her 2020 title.

She said she would love nothing more than to be able to sit down with her idol and talk tennis, adding that she didn’t think it was possible to schedule a meeting as both were busy with their preparations for the tournament.


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WATCH: Rafael Nadal’s Top Shots of 2020

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While Swiatek upstaged 2019 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin to become the first from Poland to lift a Grand Slam title, Nadal tamed old rival Novak Djokovic to win his fourth straight French Open crown since 2017 and 13th overall.



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.