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Neither Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal is the GOAT with superpowers: Iga Swiatek gives her verdict

World No. 1 Iga Swiatek once again shows her admiration for 21-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal after winning the 2022 Italian Open.

Iga Swiatek and Rafael Nadal

World No. 1 Iga Swiatek put in another dominant performance last week at the 2022 Italian Open where she made a successful title defence defeating Ons Jabeur in the finals. It was Iga’s fifth successive title on the trot and her fourth WTA-1000 title of the season having won all the top-tier Tour events she has played so far except the 2022 Madrid Open where Jabeur emerged victorious.

Swiatek had defeated former World No. 1 Karolina Pliskova in last year’s finals serving a double bagel to her in what was Iga’s second and last title of the 2021 season. This year, however, she came in with some fantastic momentum and was the title favourite right from the start and won the title without dropping a single set.

In her interview with Prakash Amritraj for Tennis Channel after her win over Ons, the Pole was asked from whom does she take inspiration as she is now herself a role model to many having become the World No. 1 and quickly expanding the size of her trophy cabinet as she had 3 titles coming into the season and halfway through this season, she already has 5 titles.

“I’m going to be boring and just repeat myself but Rafa is always a good inspiration. Watching him this year at the Australian Open, I was there in the stadium and I could see how he came back after the first two sets where Daniil played such good tennis. Rafa, he has some superpowers sometimes I think, and he’s not giving up, he’s physically and tactically always on the court and I feel like he’s the perfect role model and the greatest of all time in tennis right now,” said Swiatek naming Rafael Nadal as her role model.

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Iga Swiatek’s season so far

Iga Swiatek with her 2022 Italian Open trophy

Iga started her season at the WTA-500 Adelaide International where she lost in the semi-finals to then World No. 1 and eventual champion Ash Barty. She next played in the 2022 Australian Open where she lost in the semis once again, this time to eventual runner-up Danielle Collins. Her next tour appearance came at the 2022 Dubai Tennis Championships where she lost in the second round, her earliest exit of the season.

Since her defeat in Dubai, Iga has not lost a match yet winning titles in the WTA-1000 events in Qatar, Indian Wells and Miami on the trot. She then won the WTA-500 Stuttgart Open, her first tournament as the World No. 1 but withdrew from the WTA-1000 Madrid Open to nurse her shoulder injury. She then played in the Italian Open to win her fourth WTA-1000 title of the season and extend her season record to 37-3 as she now heads into the 2022 French Open as one of the title favourites.

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