Iga Swiatek: 'Rafael Nadal is my favorite player, hope he can win Roland Garros'

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Iga Swiatek: 'Rafael Nadal is my favorite player, hope he can win Roland Garros'

A former Wimbledon junior champion Iga Swiatek has been one of the players to watch at this year's Roland Garros. A teenager from Poland made the fourth round on her debut in Paris a year ago, returning even stronger to advance into the semi-final.

Calm and collected, Iga has played on a high level in the opening five matches, spending five hours and 40 minutes on the court and toppling all the opponents in straight sets. In the second round, Iga needed only 63 minutes to dismiss the last year's finalist Marketa Vondrousova 6-1, 6-2, overpowering the Czech and setting the clash against Eugenie Bouchard.

The Canadian didn't stand a chance against the young gun who delivered another rock-solid performance to set the fourth-round clash with the top seed Simona Halep. Firing 30 winners and 20 unforced errors, Iga blew Halep away from the court in a 6-1, 6-2 triumph in 68 minutes, advancing into the quarter-final and becoming the player to watch.

Keeping her focus only on the next match, Swiatek defeated Martina Trevisan 6-3, 6-1 to become the first Polish player in the last four in Paris since 1939! To make things even better, Iga is through to the semis in the doubles draw as well with Nicole Melichar, advancing into the last four in both categories without losing a set!

Besides her matches and daily routines, Swiatek had found 20 minutes to watch her favorite player Rafael Nadal in action, saying he likes to watch Nadal's matches and hoping he can win another Roland Garros trophy. Nadal is through to his 13th Roland Garros semi-final, defeating a teenager Jannik Sinner 7-6, 6-4, 6-1 in two hours and 48 minutes.

Iga Swiatek would love to see Rafael Nadal lifting another Roland Garros crown.

It was the 98th victory for Nadal in Paris from 100 encounters, remaining on the course towards the 20th Major title. As was expected, the defending champion had to work much harder than in the first four rounds, entering the Court Philippe-Chatrier late and staying on it for more than two hours just to win the opening two sets.

The Roland Garros debutant Sinner gave his best in those, having nothing more left in the tank for the third set, ending his first Parisian campaign in the quarters. Rafa got broken twice and produced six breaks, finishing the clash with 37 winners and 33 unforced errors to emerge at the top in straight sets after trailing 6-5 in the opener.

He broke back, claimed the tie break and secured a late break in set number two to break the rival's resistance and advance into the last four. "Yesterday, I couldn't resist seeing a bit of his match. It was only 20 minutes because I had to do all my routines, but he is my favorite player, and I love to watch him. I wish him all the best in this tournament; I hope he can win it again," Iga Swiatek said.