Iga Swiatek says she is "really happy" to see Rafael Nadal and Naomi Osaka returning to tennis at the start of the 2024 season. Nadal, a 22-time Grand Slam champion and someone who Swiatek idolized as a kid, will be playing his first tournament in 12 months at the Brisbane International.
On the other side, four-time Grand Slam champion Osaka - who gave birth this past summer - will also be making her comeback in Brisbane. World No 1 Swiatek is happy for both of them as she admits it would be nice if she could play the Japanese next year. “I really like to watch them, so just from a fan perspective I’m really happy that they are coming back and I’m going to be able to see their game.
Rafa obviously is a huge inspiration for me, so I just hope he’s going to play nicely. Naomi, we may play against each other, so it’s pretty funny but I’m happy that she’s back and she could fulfil her other goals and now come back to playing tennis.
I’m just curious how they’re going to play, if they’re going to be rusty or not but obviously they are both really experienced so I hope they’re going to go well," Swiatek said, via The National.
Swiatek happy for Nadal, Osaka
After losing in the 2022 Australian Open semifinal, Swiatek stayed at the tournament as she was spotted in the stands supporting the Spaniard during his final win over Daniil Medvedev.
Considering that Swiatek has always been a huge Nadal fan, there is no doubt that she will be rooting for the Spaniard to do well in his comeback. On the other side, Swiatek could potentially get another big rival if Osaka makes a strong comeback and finds her old game.
Against Osaka, Swiatek has played twice. Osaka defeated Swiatek in 2019 Toronto while the Pole beat the Japanese in the 2022 Miami final.