INDIAN WELLS, Calif.—At Roland Garros this year, Iga Swiatek had the opportunity to hit with Rafael Nadal for the first time. It was an experience the 20-year-old hadn't expected after her sports psychologist Daria Abramowicz arranged the practice as a birthday surprise.
“I was pretty stressed at the beginning, because I wasn’t sure I would be able to talk to him normally,” Swiatek told Steve Weissman during her Tennis Channel Live appearance on Friday following an opening-round win over Petra Martic at Indian Wells. “I learned that he’s a really normal guy and that’s the best part of it.”
With Nadal absent from the BNP Paribas Open, it eliminated any chance of the two following up with a sequel session in the desert. When asked who she would most like to hit with next, Swiatek selected another former world No. 1, Andy Murray.