Jasmine Paolini praises Iga Swiatek at RG in way many have spoken about Rafael Nadal

Paolini was full of praise for Swiatek after their French Open final.

by Dzevad Mesic
Jasmine Paolini praises Iga Swiatek at RG in way many have spoken about Rafael Nadal
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Jasmine Paolini spoke about Iga Swiatek in a way that many players have spoken about Rafael Nadal over the years as the Italian called the Pole "unbelievable" at Roland Garros and admitted that playing the current world at the French Open was "the biggest challenge" of her career. 

Paolini, who is 28 and in the midst of her by far career-best year, clinched a couple of big wins and even stunned Elena Rybakina en route to making her first Grand Slam final at the French Open. But in the final, the ultimate test was waiting for Paolini and she didn't manage to pass it after Swiatek claimed a dominant 6-2 6-1 win in the final. 

Early in the match, Paolini came out playing aggressively and she earned a break in the third game to go 2-1 up. But after going up by a break, Paolini experienced how brutal Swiatek can be at Roland Garros - the Pole went on to win the next 10 games before completing a win with just three games lost. 

By ousting Paolini, Swiatek improved to four French Open titles in her six appearances at the tournament. While the 23-year-old Pole is still far away from Nadal's all-time French Open record of 14 titles, her Roland Garros is definitely resembling the Spaniard's in some ways. 

"She's playing unbelievably here. She's taking the balls early. She can defend really, really well. On clay, she's unbelievable. Also, on a hard court, come on, she won so many tournaments this year. But I think to play her here is something different," Paolini said of Swiatek at Roland Garros. 

“She has already won four titles, and she's still 22 years old. These numbers are not normal; they are something unbelievable. Yeah, I think she's an unbelievable player.  I think it was the most challenging match I played in my entire career.”

Jasmine Paolini and Iga Swiatek
Jasmine Paolini and Iga Swiatek © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Paolini hopes for another shot versus Swiatek

On Saturday, Paolini was playing against Swiatek for the third time. In the past, Paolini met Swiatek for the first time in 2018 as then-the 17-year-old Pole registered a 6-2 6-1 win at an ITF tournament in Prague. Then during the 2022 US Open, Paolini got a chance to play Swiatek for the second time - but the outcome was again pretty much the same since the current world No. 1 earned a 6-3 6-0 win. 

While Paolini has never managed to win more than three games in a match versus Swiatek, the new world No. 7 hopes to get more cracks at the new five-time Grand Slam champion in the future. 

“I think that my goal right now is to try to keep this level, to play against Iga one more time,” Paolini said.

“I don't know where. It can be the second round, or it can be the first round. I don't care. I think playing against her can give me something to add things to my game. It's challenging, but at the same time, I can understand more about what I have to improve, and what I have to add to my game. 

“I am enjoying the moment. I love to play at this level with those players. I played [Elena] Rybakina, who is world No. 4. I played Iga, who is World No. 1.”

Jasmine Paolini
Jasmine Paolini © Getty Images Sport - Tim Goode

Paolini 'curious' about what will happen next in her career

Paolini, who will turn 29 in January at the start of the 2025 season, accomplished by far her best results in the last four months. After becoming a WTA 1000 champion in Dubai in February, Paolini also made her first Grand Slam final at Roland Garros and broke into the top-10 for the first time in her career. 

"I don't know where this journey is going to -- I don't know how to say -- take me. But I'm curious to discover that. I'm trying to step on court every day and to give my 100 percent. Let's see what the future will bring to me," Paolini said. 

Jasmine Paolini
Jasmine Paolini © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

While Paolini can't for sure say what the future holds for her, she knows one thing - she wants to keep working hard and remain consistent.

"Throughout this year I have been more consistent, and that I think helped me to take also chances when the chances are coming," Paolini noted.

"I think that's the difference, but we still try to improve. Because I think it's the most important thing to step on court every day and try to improve and to keep this consistency. Because if you stop I think the consistency will stop with you."

Jasmine Paolini Iga Swiatek Rafael Nadal