At the peace event for Ukraine, Iga Swiatek had the opportunity to play with his idol, Rafael Nadal. “It was an extraordinary and unique experience. She said the number one in the press conference prior to the US Open-Rafa is fantastic, when she was a child she would never have imagined playing alongside her and forming a team together.
The whole event was wonderful, I’m happy to have participated and helped the cause.» This Us Open is also the last tournament for someone who has dominated the women’s circuit for years: Serena Williams.
«For me it’s still surreal when I see her, I feel like a child next to her,» said her Polish colleague. I never felt that she could be a tennis player because I saw her much stronger. Mentally, she’s a specialist at bullying you, like she’s number one.»
After the retirement of Ash Barty, the Polish tennis player has become the number one in the world and a dominant player on the circuit: winner of Roland Garros. However, since he won the French Open, he has struggled to recover and left the third Grand Slam of the season, Wimbledon, earlier than expected.
To regain her dominance in the last Grand Slam, the Polish player enjoyed some time off: «I feel ready: I am very excited to play this tournament and happy that I had time to train a little more. It’s great to be back.» here and I learn more and more every year, I can feel that progress, so I hope to show it in my matches.»
Rafa has won five times in NY
Rafael Nadal returns to the US Open this year for the first time since winning the title in 2019. While the pandemic kept him out in 2020, his chronic foot condition ruled him out last year.
«Well, focus (and) try to win. You know that when you play finals, the feeling beforehand is unique, right? Because you know that you are playing for something that will remain for the rest of your career and when you are walking through the tunnel to get out , you see the stadium full», said Rafael Nadal.
«The energy that New York brings to you is so, so special, so in a way I’m nervous, focused but at the same time excited and appreciative of the moment,» he added. «Things have been so tough after that (winning the 2019 US Open) with the pandemic, I’ve had injuries, it’s been a really tough couple of years now,» he admitted.
«Even in that way I managed to play good tennis, win some titles and this year has been very emotional after a couple of difficult years.»