Iga Swiatek - Roland Garros 2024, Rafael Nadal - Roland Garros 2022

Iga Swiatek ‘proud’ to be ‘mentioned in the same sentence’ as Rafael Nadal

Iga Swiatek has reached a third consecutive Roland Garros final, with the Pole responding to comparisons to record 14-time champion Rafael Nadal.

Swiatek beat Coco Gauff, 6-2 6-4, as she now looks to win her fourth Roland Garros title in the past five years.

Although it was a straight sets victory for Swiatek, she did have to come from a break down in the second set and spoke about the match in her on-court interview.

“For sure it was intense,” admitted Swiatek. “In the second set it was kind of tight because we were breaking each other, but I’m happy that I was consistent with my tactics – I didn’t overthink stuff and I just went for it at the end.”

The world No.1 continued, “I think she’s [Gauff] progressing a lot. You can see by her results. Last year’s US Open showed for sure that she’s tough. I think at this age, it’s obvious that she’s going to grow, so it’s great to see her handling everything around her so well – I’m sure we’re going to have plenty more really intense matches at the highest level because Coco is one of the most consistent players out there.”

Swiatek has won five out of her six matches en route to this year’s Roland Garros final in straight sets, but was actually on the verge of being knocked out in the second round against Naomi Osaka, when she was 5-2 down in the third set and faced a match point.

Since fighting back to beat Osaka, Swiatek has only dropped 14 games in four matches and spoke about the changes in her mindset.

“For sure something changed. I would say I just adjusted better to the court,” said Swiatek. “It’s not easy to play the first matches on a Grand Slam because the atmosphere is much different than it is in other tournaments. I guess with Naomi I didn’t have time to get into it.

“It was intense from the beginning and she put pressure on me, so I’m happy that I handled it well. After that the weather changed also and it helps my game. I just gained confidence.”

At 23-years-old, Swiatek will be bidding for her fourth Roland Garros title tomorrow, with comparisons being drawn to Nadal’s dominance at the Paris major.

Despite suggesting that it is too early to draw them comparisons, Swiatek spoke about how proud she is to be in the same conversation as her idol.

“We’ll see in 14 years if the journey is similar,” responded Swiatek in her post-match press conference. “I mean, that’s obviously really nice for me. I would never expect anybody to compare me to Rafa, because for me he’s above everybody and he’s a total legend.

“Yeah, as I said, we’ll see in couple of years. But I’m proud of myself that I’m playing consistently here and that I’m mentioned in the same sentence as Rafa. That’s cool.”

Swiatek will play first-time Grand Slam finalist Jasmine Paolini tomorrow on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Inside the baseline…

Iga Swiatek is just head and shoulders ahead of the rest of the women’s field on clay, and it almost seems inevitable that she will claim a fourth Roland Garros title tomorrow. It probably is too early to draw comparisons to Rafael Nadal just yet, but that doesn’t mean that Swiatek couldn’t produce some incredible numbers and is starting to already at just 23-years-old. If Swiatek does win the title tomorrow, she will have more Roland Garros titles than Serena Williams and level Justine Henin – ridiculous!

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Iga Swiatek at Roland Garros

Swiatek is bidding to win a fourth title at Roland Garros this year at only 23-years-old, and we at Tennishead wanted to take an in-depth look at just how good she is at the Paris major:

Titles: 3 (2020, 2022 & 2023)

Win-loss Record: 34-2 (94%)

Swiatek’s only two losses at Roland Garros:

  1. Simona Halep (3) beat Swiatek, 6-1 6-0 (2019)
  2. Maria Sakkari (17) beat Swiatek (8), 6-4 6-4 (2021)

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.