‘My twenty first birthday plans? I am going to watch Nadal-Djokovic’

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Iga Swiatek

WTA world primary Iga Swiatek has returned as a BBC Sport columnist on the French Open.

The Polish participant, who gained her first Grand Slam title at Roland Garros in 2020, is the heavy favorite on the clay-court main and gained within the fourth spherical on Monday to increase her streak to 32 matches.

Profitable my fourth-round match on the French Open on Monday was sort of an early birthday current – as a result of I flip 21 on Tuesday.

It’s at all times fairly laborious to have fun if you end up in the midst of the match, however I hope I’ll have time on my day without work to do one thing.

I by no means plan issues for my very own birthday – it isn’t like I’ll throw a celebration within the locker room!

I simply hope I’ll get a correct relaxation. However I heard my staff have ready one thing enjoyable for me – so we are going to see.

As everybody is aware of I’m a Rafael Nadal fan and I’d love to observe his match towards Novak Djokovic.

I will probably be too interested by what’s going to occur to not see it, however I’ll watch on TV reasonably than on the stadium.

I watched Rafa’s final match towards Felix Auger-Aliassime, though not the total recreation as a result of it was so lengthy.

In the course of the match I must be targeted by myself preparations, my relaxation and my routine. That is why I will not be going to observe the quarter-final within the stadium.

However, like at all times, I will be rooting for Rafa.

Just lately I went to Rafa’s academy in Majorca and noticed all his trophies within the museum he has there.

I bought extra enthusiastic about these trophies than those I noticed after I went to Actual Madrid’s stadium, though they have been spectacular too.

I used to be actually in awe at seeing the Grand Slam trophies Rafa has gained, after all.

However I used to be additionally amazed in any respect the others, just like the trophies he has gained at Barcelona, Monte Carlo and Rome. There are such a lot of!

It was superb to see the consistency he has had throughout his profession and seeing all his trophies was actually inspiring.

Iga Swiatek celebrates winning at the 2022 French Open
Swiatek has gained her previous 5 tournaments – in Doha, Indian Wells, Miami, Stuttgart and Rome – and misplaced simply two of her previous 46 units

Lacking Madrid was laborious – however refreshed me

After successful the Sunshine Double at Indian Wells and Miami, I had a number of days off, so was in a position to mirror on what I had already achieved this 12 months.

At first, it did really feel sort of bizarre successful all these matches as a result of final season I gained two tournaments however misplaced many extra matches.

So I did not know a sustained stage of success like I’ve had this 12 months could be attainable.

I additionally had time to mirror on my latest achievements after I was in Madrid. I went there to play however needed to withdraw from the match due to a shoulder damage.

It was a good suggestion for me to take a number of days off. That meant I felt refreshed and began the method once more in Rome.

It was good to neglect about all of the earlier matches and the successful streak for a second as a result of you don’t need that a lot weight in your shoulders.

So I stayed in Madrid for 2 days and I went to all of the vacationer sights it’s a must to see, together with a visit to the Bernabeu.

From Madrid I went to Palma in Majorca, the place I had a while on the seashore and in addition went to some artwork gala’s.

All of this stuff helped me to keep away from enthusiastic about tennis for a number of days.

However then it was shortly again to enterprise in Majorca, the place I went to Rafa’s academy to practise and put together for the French Open.

Then it was on to Paris, the place it at all times feels nice to be again. I’ve so many great recollections after successful my first Grand Slam right here in 2020.

After being on the WTA Tour for a number of years now, it’s very nice to have discovered totally different locations in several cities the place I prefer to calm down.

Melbourne and New York are the identical for me within the sense that they make me really feel at dwelling. That is essential for me.

I prefer to have locations on tour the place I do know, that the meals is sweet and the persons are pleasant.

I additionally attempt to act like a vacationer and see some issues; final week we went to Palace of Versailles.

It was superb and the most effective issues I’ve ever seen in my life.

What made it extra superb was that I did not test it out on the Web earlier than I went, so I did not know what to anticipate.

Once I arrived, I used to be like, ‘wow!’ I really questioned why individuals solely consider the Eiffel Tower after they consider Paris. Versailles was a lot nicer.

It was additionally good as a result of it was not as busy because the Eiffel Tower. It does not appear to be the primary selection for individuals after they consider Paris.

I do not know if I’ll any extra cool locations in Paris on my birthday, but when not then I am positive I’ll get the chance quickly. I am at all times enthusiastic about what’s subsequent on tour.

Iga Swiatek was speaking to BBC Sport’s Jonathan Jurejko at Roland Garros.



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