Tennis world erupts over Rafa Nadal moment with Iga Swiatek

·4-min read
Tennis fans couldn't get enough of the moment between Rafa Nadal and Iga Swiatek at Roland Garros. Pic: Tennis TV
Tennis fans couldn't get enough of the moment between Rafa Nadal and Iga Swiatek at Roland Garros. Pic: Tennis TV

A beautiful moment between Rafael Nadal and Iga Swiatek at Roland Garros has left tennis fans in a frenzy on social media.

Nadal - a 13-time winner at the French Open - and 2020 women's champion Swiatek are among the strong favourites to take out their respective singles titles in the French capital.

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The pair have struck up quite the friendship in recent times, with Swiatek spending time at Nadal's tennis academy in Mallorca recently to fine-tune her game ahead of the French Open.

Swiatek has made no secret of the fact she is a massive fan of the 20-time grand slam champion, and has spoken in the past about what an amazing competitor and role model Nadal is.

With the French Open set to get underway in Paris on Sunday, it was nice to see Nadal return the love to the 20-year-old Pole, who is in the midst of an extraordinary 28-match winning streak.

Swiatek was sitting at the side of a practice court at Roland Garros with her back to Nadal, when the Spaniard casually walked up and extended a hand in friendship.

The joy on both of the players' faces was obvious as they shook hands and had a quick chat, in a moment tennis fans couldn't get enough of on social media.

Swiatek has won every WTA 1000 event she's played so far this year, with her 28-match winning streak one more than the second-longest of Serena Williams' career, and the longest by anyone since Serena won 34-straight from 2012 to 2013.

The all-time longest WTA winning streak belongs to Martina Navratilova, who had a run of 74 in 1984.

The Pole has won consecutive tournaments in Doha, Indian Wells, Miami, Stuttgart and Rome to stamp herself as the overwhelming favourite heading into the French Open.

Rafa Nadal cops brutal French Open draw

Nadal will have his work cut out to win a 14th French Open crown and a record-extending 22md major title after details of his brutal draw emerged.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic and Nadal are on a quarter-final collision course after one of the most lop-sided draws at a major in recent memory.

Djokovic was drawn in the toughest half of an unbalanced draw with Nadal, as well as in-form Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz and World No.3 Alexander Zverev.

If all goes to plan, Djokovic would meet Nadal in the quarters and Alcaraz would play Zverev.

Nadal, who also has concerns over a recurrence of a chronic foot problem, will meet Australia's Jordan Thompson in the first round, while Djokovic will meet Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka.

Seen here, Rafael Nadal laughing during his training session in preparation for the 2022 French Open.
Rafael Nadal has a laugh during his training session on Court Philippe Chatrier in preparation for the 2022 French Open. Pic: Getty

Djokovic is back on the grand slam scene for the first time since being deported from Melbourne ahead of the Australian Open because of his refusal to get vaccinated.

In the bottom half of the draw, last year's runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas faces a tricky first-round match against Italian Lorenzo Musetti, who last year took Djokovic to five sets in the fourth round.

World No.2 Daniil Medvedev could take on compatriot Andrey Rublev in the quarter-finals as Russian players have been allowed to compete despite their country's invasion of Ukraine.

However fans and commentators took to social media to bemoan the lop-sided nature of the draw.

The top half also features Felix Auger Aliassime, who is currently fourth in the race to the ATP Finals.

That means four of the top five players in the ATP Finals race are in the same half of the draw - Nadal, Alcaraz, Zverev and Auger Aliassime - alongside No.1 Djokovic.

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