Iga Swiatek says she will cheer for Rafa when he faces the great Spaniard Novak Djokovic in a huge quarter-final at the French Open on Tuesday night.
Djokovic leads 30-28, although the record is flipped 7-2 in favor of Nadal on clay in Paris.
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The world number 1 seed is trying to join Nadal at the top of the men’s all-time list with his 21st Grand Slam title. Nadal won his last major slam at the Australian Open after a miraculous return from a five-month absence due to injury.
“I would be too curious about what was going to happen to not watch it, but I would watch it on TV instead of in the stadium.
“I watched Rafa’s last match against Felix Auger-Aliassime, although it wasn’t complete because it was too long.
“During the tournament, I have to focus on my preparation, my comfort and my routine. That is why I will not watch the quarter-finals on the field.
“But, as always, I’ll root for Rafa.”
Swiatek continued, “I recently went to Rafa’s Academy in Mallorca and saw all his awards in the museum there.”
“I was more excited about those trophies than I saw when I went to the Real Madrid stadium, although they were also fantastic.
“I was really in awe of the grand slam titles that Rafa won of course.
“But I was also amazed by all the other trophies, like the titles he won in Barcelona, Monte Carlo and Roma. There are so many!
“It was amazing to see the consistency he has had throughout his career and to see all his titles have been really inspiring.”
Cooler nights are expected to be in Djokovic’s favour, with Nadal unable to generate the same amount of legendary spin with the ball getting heavier.
“Without a doubt, yes,” Wellander said when asked if playing in the daytime is different compared to at night.
“The surface – the mud – gets a little wet, the tennis ball picks up the moisture, [becoming] Heavier, and much more difficult to turn.
“Of course, the night session at the US Open is also different due to changes in temperature and humidity, but the stadium itself does not change much; of course a solid concrete court.
“When it’s hot, it’s more bouncy than when it’s cold, but that change [at Roland-Garros] It is much more than that, which is difficult for the players.”
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