Polish tennis star and winner of the French Open title on Saturday, Iga Swiatek, has said that lessons drawn from Spanish stalwart Rafael Nadal's professional career have helped her improve as a player. Swiatek defeated American youngster Coco Gauff 6-1, 6-3 in the final to cap her superb clay-court season, lifting her second French Open singles trophy.
Swiatek, who has won a staggering 35 consecutive matches tying Venus Williams for the best winning streak this century, said post-match that watching how Nadal has faced success and failure had helped shape her own approach to the highs and lows of life on tour, according to atptour.com. Nadal has won a record 21 Grand Slam titles and a win at Roland Garros on Sunday will see the Spaniard clinch a record-extending 22nd major title. "I think the best thing I can learn from him (Nadal) is how he's cool about what's going on around him," Swiatek said.
"Because sometimes in our heads, I think many players are overanalysing everything. We treat those finals...(that) if we are gonna lose suddenly, our life is bad," the Polish player was quoted as saying by atptour.com. "I feel like all these great champions, they kind of accept that they may lose. I remember even last year when Rafa lost in semifinals (at the French Open), I met him coincidentally next day, at breakfast in the hotel, and I said to him that I was crying basically the whole evening because he lost.
"He was, like, 'Oh, it's just a tennis match. You win, you lose. It's normal'. Not everybody can do that and just treat those big moments as another match." Nadal, who will chase a record-extending 14th Roland Garros against Casper Ruud of Norway, has been full of praise for Swiatek. "When somebody like her is winning the tournaments and is winning with these results, I mean, it's something special, no?" Nadal said in his pre-tournament presser at Roland Garros.
"It was a big surprise probably the first time that couple of years ago when she won here (2020). But the way that she's playing this year looks unstoppable... I'm just happy for her. She's very spontaneous and natural girl. Is good to have girls like this, good people like her having success," Nadal had said.