Iga Swiatek says she considers Rafael Nadal “the most inspirational player on the Tour” as she finds it absolutely impressive how the Spaniard always fights, even when his back is turned against the wall. Swiatek, 21, grew up watching and idolizing Nadal.
Swiatek, who is already a three-time Grand Slam champion, has spoken multiple times about her admiration for Nadal. Swiatek is certainly following in Nadal’s footsteps as many believe she will do major things in the game.
“I would say the most inspirational player for me on tour is Rafa Nadal because he’s never giving up, and he can win matches even though everybody is thinking like he’s going to lose it. He’s always developing.
Even though he’s the greatest in the world, he’s always changing something and trying to improve,” Swiatek said, per Tennis Majors.
Swiatek played mixed doubles with Nadal
Just a couple of days before the 2022 US Open, the USTA organized a charity event for Ukraine.
During the event, Swiatek got a chance to play mixed doubles with Nadal. For Swiatek, sharing the same side of the court was something she always dreamed of. “It was pretty amazing being on the same side of the court playing doubles, and especially for such a great cause—being able to use our voices together to help people is pretty amazing.
It was kind of a moment where I stopped for a little bit and thought about what a long journey it has been to get here, and getting to do that is really a dream come true. Rafa is such a great person on and off the court and he has inspired me so much, especially this season when I watched his final at the Australian Open.
It really gave me extra motivation and even more grit on court when I really needed that, so I’m grateful to have been able to spend some time around Rafa too,” Swiatek said last September. Last year, Nadal heaped praise on Swiatek, calling her “something special.” “She’s winning very easy. That’s special and very difficult,” Nadal said of Swiatek at the 2022 French Open.