Swiatek reflects on Nadal’s inspiring Australian Open triumph | Tennis News

DUBAI: Iga Swiatek watched spellbound from the packed stands at the Rod Laver Arena as her idol Rafael Nadal engineered a titanic comeback to clinch a record 21st Grand Slam title at the Australian Open last month .
The 20-year-old Pole, whose admiration for the Spaniard was amply showcased at Melbourne Park, showed some of that spark against Russia’s Daria Kasatkina in the first round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship on Monday.
Swiatek, the world No. 9, champion at Roland Garros two years ago, chained consecutive victories in as many tournaments against Kasatkina, punctuating her result with 6-1, 6-2 in 67 minutes.
Swiatek argued that Nadal’s win in Melbourne was achieved in phases. He crossed the seasons, defying reason. “At first I thought it was going to be difficult for Rafa to play this way. To get the score, to start winning. Especially with Daniil who is so confident and going forward,” she said. declared. “Rafa made some small mistakes. But you could see he was trying to fight.”
“Then during the game I thought if he were to win it would be a stunning victory. He’s going to show why he’s Rafa, why he’s won so many Grand Slams.”
Swiatek, who shared a court with the 21-time big winner in Paris last year, was also hitting ambitious line balls perched on the edge of her seat. “Only a few players can do that,” she said.

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