Iga Swiatek has very classy words for Naomi Osaka ahead of French Open showdown

Swiatek comments on facing Osaka in the French Open second round.

by Dzevad Mesic
Iga Swiatek has very classy words for Naomi Osaka ahead of French Open showdown
© Getty Images Sport - Michael Reaves

World No. 1 Iga Swiatek dropped some major praise on former world No. 1 Naomi Osaka ahead of their French Open match as the Pole spoke very highly of the Japanese as a player but also as a person. 

After four-time Grand Slam champion Osaka defeated Lucia Bronzetti 6-1 4-6 7-5 on Sunday, Swiatek ousted Leolia Jeanjean 6-1 6-2 on Monday to set up a second-round showdown between two players that have four Grand Slams in their collections. 

When Swiatek, 22, and 26-year-old Osaka meet at the French Open, it will be their third meeting overall and also their first meeting since the Japanese launched her post-pregnancy comeback. Previously, Osaka defeated Swiatek when the Pole was just starting her career in 2019 Toronto while the current world No. 1 won their 2022 Miami final meeting with a 6-4 6-0 scoreline. 

After overcoming Bronzetti in her opener at Roland Garros, Osaka said she was rooting for Swiatek to beat Jeanjean so she could meet her in the second round because she considered facing the Polish three-time French Open champion at Roland Garros as "an honor."

Naomi Osaka and Iga Swiatek
Naomi Osaka and Iga Swiatek© Getty Images Sport - Matthew Stockman

Swiatek returns the favor to Osaka, full of praise for the Japanese 

“Really impressed. I think, you know, she's a great person, and her game style is, you know, pretty fun to watch as well," Swiatek said of Osaka.

"I haven't actually played against Naomi obviously on clay, so we’ll see how that's going to go. We need to prepare tactically, for sure. But all these matches that we played on hard court were always really intense and tough. So I'm just glad that she came back and she’s playing more tournaments even than before the break... I'm happy that she’s playing well."

Heading into the match, Swiatek is without any doubt a favorite to beat Osaka since clay is her favorite surface while the Japanese has never won a clay title and she is still figuring out the surface. 

But anyway, it will be interesting to see how much Osaka can do against Swiatek and whether she can pose a threat to the defending French Open champion.

Iga Swiatek Naomi Osaka French Open