Rafael Nadal and Iga Swiatek are both defending their Internazionali BNL d’Italia titles this week in Rome, so it was fitting they chatted on the practice court Tuesday before beginning their runs.
It is not the first time they have met on the practice court. At Roland Garros last year, the pair enjoyed a quick hit at Roland Garros.
💭 Defending Champs chats 👀#IBI22 | #tennis | @iga_swiatek | @RafaelNadal pic.twitter.com/ar9eRU9lve
— Internazionali Bnl (@InteBNLdItalia) May 10, 2022
Swiatek has long spoken of her admiration for Nadal. Last week, the Polish star prepared for Rome by training at the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar.
“For sure it was inspiring. You could see all the trophies, which is amazing. Seeing numbers on Wikipedia is one thing, but seeing all the trophies, how consistent he was sometimes in some tournaments, it’s amazing,” Swiatek said in her pre-tournament press conference. ”Actually I really like this museum. It was not only about Rafa and about tennis, but also about other sports. You could see there was Fernando Alonso Formula 1 where he won world championships.
“It was just interesting because you could see the sports, not only tennis, not only what Rafa did, so that’s nice.”
The WTA World No. 1 also had high praise for the recent efforts of Carlos Alcaraz, who defeated Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev en route to capturing the Mutua Madrid Open title last week.
“I want to watch highlights for sure. I’m going to do that. I didn’t have time because [the] last couple of days have been really busy for me in terms of practising,” Swiatek said. “I’m going to do that for sure because what he’s doing is amazing. Wow, like winning against Rafa and Novak on the same tournament, just crazy.”