'We know that's going to be a present problem for Rafael Nadal', says expert

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'We know that's going to be a present problem for Rafael Nadal', says expert

Iga Swiatek, after missing the Mutua Madrid Open, returned to the court at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia and achieved her 24th consecutive victory. The number one in the world had decided not to participate in the Spanish '1000' to take care of her shoulder; a shoulder that had started to give him some trouble in Miami.

The Polish player has won four tournaments in a row and her goal is to improve her record in Rome again. "I'm happy to have improved my performance as the minutes went by and to have found the right rhythm. I was very solid today," Swiatek explained at the press conference.

"The most important thing my coach tries to pass on to me is experience, being able to adapt my game to each type of surface. We try to change technically to get the best feeling on both cement and clay. Mainly, since the beginning of the season, we have been working on my serve.

A job that is reflected in the statistics; while last year the first serve cost me a bit. I'm still 20 years old and I think there are a lot of things to improve." Swiatek exchanged a few words with Novak Djokovic before his last training session and, in a press conference, revealed: "I think the big three have always shown great continuity, and that is one of the things that I would like to have.

I know the situation is different on the women's tour. All three are definitely role models. Novak congratulated me on my achievements in the last few months. He had just finished his training and didn't want to disturb him.

I think it's not easy to take something from a technical and physical point of view, because women are not as physically strong as they are. But I always wanted to play top spin, because I used to watch Rafael Nadal on TV."

Courier opens up on Rafael Nadal

Former World No. 1 Jim Courier has said that Rafael Nadal's loss to Carlos Alcaraz in the Madrid Masters quarterfinals on Friday could be a blessing in disguise for the Spaniard. "I think, on many levels, this is a good result for Rafa to actually lose this match on a couple of levels, said Courier."

"He gets four days off to play at Rome, which is at sea-level, which much more mimics what he'll face at Roland Garros from a conditions standpoint. And he gets a chance now to regroup, hopefully, kind of reassess where he is, knowing that his rib is no longer a problem."

During the same discussion, Jim Courier stated that Rafael Nadal's foot might not be in optimum condition and could trouble him in the coming weeks. "How's his foot? That's a question. I wasn't sure his foot was going to feel good after the 2-hour match today, 3-hour match yesterday.

Rumours that he was hobbling around to his press conference. We know that's going to be a present problem for him, ongoing."