“He is a legend,” Iga Swiatek reveals how Rafael Nadal inspired her at the Australian Open 2022

Iga Swiatek talks about her admiration for Rafael Nadal while also mentioning how the Spaniard inspired her.

Iga Swiatek and Rafael Nadal
Iga Swiatek and Rafael Nadal

Iga Swiatek came back from a set and a break down in her quarter-final match against Kaia Kanepi to win 4-6, 7-6, 6-3 and progress to her maiden Australian Open semi-final, where she will be facing 27th seed, Danielle Collins.

Swiatek was playing in her first Grand Slam quarter-final at the Australian Open and had to fight hard to win against Kanepi, who upset 2nd seed Aryna Sabalenka in the fourth round. After winning her first three rounds comfortably in straight sets, the Pole couldn’t get a good start in her next matches and had to come from a set deficit to win them. Swiatek was struggling with her serve in her quarter-final match and made 12 double faults but her gritty defense, especially on the match point saw her come out on top against the Estonian veteran in a grueling 3-hour match.

The 2020 Roland Garros champion will be looking to advance to her second Grand Slam final as she takes on Danielle Collins of the USA in the semi-finals on Thursday.

“It’s always fun to watch him play” Iga Swiatek about Nadal

Iga Swiatek
Iga Swiatek

Swiatek who is a long-time admirer of Rafael Nadal, was asked if she’s following Nadal’s matches this tournament and if the Spaniard inspired her. The Pole responded saying, Nadal is just ‘pure class’ and a ‘legend’.

I fist-pumped Rafa like 2 days ago, so that was really inspiring. I was watching every match except yesterday’s one. I watched fifth set. You can see that he’s just pure class and he’s a legend. It’s always fun to watch him. I just really enjoy that as not only as a tennis player but also as a fan, you know?” Swiatek said in her post-match conference after her hard-fought win over Kanepi.

This was in reference to Nadal’s epic 5-set win over Denis Shapovalov in the quarter-finals. The Spaniard squandered a two-set lead, but did enough to win the deciding set and book his place in the semi-final.

Also read: “When you’re Mentally fit and tough, you can play your best tennis!” Iga Swiatek’s Sports Psychologist speaks on the Importance of Mental Health during a match