Iga Swiatek says Rafael Nadal is her "biggest inspiration on and off the court" as the Pole has always been a big admirer of the Spaniard's game and personality. Swiatek, who is turning 22 next week, grew up watching and idolizing Nadal.
Swiatek followed in the footsteps of her idol as she is already a three-time Grand Slam champion and ranked at No 1 in the world. "My first inspiration was my sister Agata who started playing tennis before me and I wanted to follow her as a typical younger sister.
There is no secret that my biggest inspiration is Rafael Nadal, both on and off the court. His game is so inspirational to me as you can see in my forehand. I appreciate him for his attitude in everyday life, as well. He is just a normal guy who likes people, he’s very kind and this great success hasn’t changed him," Swiatek said during a Q&A with Rolex Testimonee, via Tennis Connected.
Just like Nadal, Swiatek is constantly working on getting better
Although Swiatek has had major success early on in her career, she is still constantly trying to find ways to get better. Swiatek's perfectionism has led to the Pole improving in certain areas but the Pole admits that there are times when her perfectionism doesn't really benefit her.
"Unfortunately, sometimes I’m a perfectionist and it’s not necessarily good when it’s extreme. I want to strive for excellence constantly, for being a better version of myself every day. From my perspective, it’s possible to strive for excellence and enjoy what we’re doing at the same time and that’s my goal – to find joy in the process.
To pursue my aims, to work on my skills, but not be too focused on perfection itself, because it can lead to burnout. I believe that my version of the pursuit of excellence is close to the Rolex’s philosophy. There is no excellence without the process of pursuing it and finding joy or passion in it," Swiatek said.
Meanwhile, Swiatek is preparing to kick off her French Open title defense. In the French Open first round, Swiatek plays against Cristina Bucsa.
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