A former Wimbledon junior champion Iga Swiatek has been one of the players to watch Roland Garros this year. A teenager from Poland made the fourth round on her debut in Paris a year ago, returning even stronger to claim the title a few weeks ago at 19 and write tennis history.
In the final, Swiatek took down the Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin 6-4, 6-1, holding nerves and keeping everything under control in the most important match of her career. Like Rafael Nadal in the men's draw, Iga claimed the title without losing a set, sharing the achievement with the Spaniard and supporting him en route towards the 20th Major title and the 13th in Paris.
Swiatek's coach Piotr Sierzputowski is also impressed by Nadal, calling him more likable than Roger Federer. Sierzputowski said you couldn't see the Swiss around the other players as he disappears after the matches, while Nadal is there to share the table with them and eat the same food.
Despite being a machine on the court, Nadal has an expressed human side, something Iga Swiatek and her coach like a lot about him. Competing at his 16th Roland Garros, Rafa claimed the 13th title, beating all rivals in straight sets for the fourth time in a career in Paris and extending his clay-court dominance at 34.
Rafael Nadal claimed the 20th Major title at Roland Garros.
Playing only three matches since March, Rafa had to find his A-game in Paris to stay competitive in tough conditions that had nothing to do with regular Parisian weather in May and June, passing all the obstacles to join Federer on 20 Majors.
In the semis, Nadal ousted Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-3, 7-6, prevailing in the third set and marching in the final where he faced world no. 1 Novak Djokovic. Chasing the second Roland Garros crown, Djokovic stood no chance against Rafa, with the Spaniard scoring a 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 triumph in two hours and 41 minutes to write history books and challenge Roger in the GOAT race.
"I can see why Iga is a massive fan of Rafa. He is a great guy, well-behaved, who always says hi, winks, smiles at you; he is never rude. Djokovic is very helpful; you can't deny it. Roger is a legend, one can't dislike him, but he can't be liked as much as Rafa.
Roger isn't where all the players are; he disappears. Rafa plays board games with his team, sits with other players, and eats the same stuff. Roger has his cook who flies with him. These details make Rafa more likable, more human, despite being a machine on the court," Piotr Sierzputowski said.