“The Only Player I Watched”: Iga Swiatek Reveals Sheer Admiration Towards Rafael Nadal

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Polish teenager Iga Swiatek is enjoying a dreamy run at French Open 2020. She’s entered the semi-finals in Paris, which is her best ever effort in a grand slam. The 19-year-old is taking on Nadia Podoroska in her upcoming game, but before that, Swiatek sat down with the press and mentioned her overflowing love for Rafael Nadal. 

Rafa is soaring high in Paris at the moment. The Spaniard has set-up a semi-final clash with Deigo Schwartzman in hopes of defending his crown. A lot of current athletes in the circuit adore Nadal, and Switaek seems to be a die-hard fan of him!

During a recent press conference, Iga Swiatek mentioned how she grew up admiring Rafa and shaping her game by watching only him. “He’s my favorite player. He was the only player I watched when I was younger,” Swiatek said. 

Rafael Nadal celebrates at French Open 2020
Mandatory Credits: REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Moreover, Swiatek wished her idol the best of luck for his upcoming endeavors at the French Open. The ‘King of Clay’ is chasing his 13th crown at Roland Garros and he is just two wins away from winning it! 

“So, yeah, I really like him. I just wish him the best and I hope he’s gonna get another French Open this year’,” Swiatek added. However, her upcoming semi-final opponent might disagree with her predictions. 

Swiatek takes on Nadia Podoroska in the next match, and the Argentine has immense faith in her compatriot, who is creating wonders in the men’s singles event.

Diego Schwartzman played a massive quarterfinal game against Thiem and defeated the Austrian to enter his first-ever grand slam semi-final. And Podoroska is extremely confident that Schwartzman will go all the way till the finals!

Rafael Nadal is cautious of facing Diego Schwartzman in the semis 

Over the years, Rafael Nadal has been quite invincible on clay. When he comes to Paris every year, it almost becomes obvious that Rafa will walk out as the champion. However, this year, the conditions have changed and Djokovic and Schwartzman are the major threats to overthrow Nadal from his throne. 

After posting a comfortable win against Jannik Sinner in the quarterfinals, Rafa spoke a bit about his upcoming opponent. Schwartzman played amazing tennis against Thiem and proved to be more durable, which has raised a few doubts in Nadal’s mind. 

Diego Schwartzman at French Open 2020
Mandatory Credits: REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

“We are in a special tournament for me. I think the conditions are perhaps a little bit more favorable for his style of play, but I have to find my way to hurt him and to have a chance to win,” Nadal said (Quotes obtained from French via google translate).

Rafael Nadal enjoys a comfortable lead in his head-to-head meetings with Schwartzman. But in their most recent encounter, the Argentine stunned Nadal in the last eight at the 2020 Italian Open. Who will survive this encounter and set their foot in the finals?

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