We’re still a week out from determining any winners at the 2022 Roland Garros, but rumor has it some other sports are handing out trophies this weekend—some may even have truly significant import, as appears will be the case following the UEFA Champions League final.

Though the match—I’m told it’s a soccer game?—will take place at Stade de France in Saint-Denis, a mere half-hour drive, the excitement is proving so close yet so far for several of those still competing on the terre battue.

“I really wanted to go,” sighed world No. 1 Iga Swiatek of the match between Liverpool and Real Madrid, “because I have never actually saw a football match in a good level.”

The top seed had just won her 31st straight match to become the only Top 10 player left in the women’s draw, but ultimately decided against attending to preserve her second-week intensity.

“Maybe in like two, three years, I'm going to be able to go in like some exciting events during [a Slam] and I'm still going to be able to focus, but for now it's still pretty tricky for me, so I decided it's better to keep the routines.”

Swiatek polled fans on the camera lens after her 31st straight win over Danka Kovinic: "Real Madrid or Liverpool?"

Swiatek polled fans on the camera lens after her 31st straight win over Danka Kovinic: "Real Madrid or Liverpool?"


With far more experience under his belt, Swiatek’s idol Rafael Nadal will be making so such sacrifices.

“Let's see how I wake up tomorrow,” the 13-time champion cautioned on Friday, “because, you know, you never know with my body how the surprises are there. But if nothing happens, and I expect nothing happens, and if I'm able to have the right practice tomorrow, yeah, my intention and my goal is be there.”

While Team Swiatek is split between pro- and anti- Madrid factions, the Spaniard will be firmly in Madrid’s corner should he make it to the match; former coach Zinedine Zidane was even on hand to watch him score a straight-set win over Botic van de Zandschulp.

Another Nadal’s admirers Daria Kasatkina, however, will find herself odds with the King of Clay—likely due to her longtime allegiance to Barça FC.

“Liverpool, of course!” she said after joking she had “zero” interest in final. Like Swiatek, Kasatkina, who is back in the second week of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time since 2018, will be watching the match on TV.

“But my priorities in this match are obvious,” she clarified.

Few still at Roland Garros could be considered bigger Liverpool fans than Neal Skupski, the sixth-seeded doubles specialist, who has been tweeting up a storm in favor of his home team.

Though not the court this year, both Gaël Monfils and Juan Martin del Potro have been taking Swiatek’s more diplomatic approach, gauging fan interest via Twitter polls.


Making a last appeal to be there for all the action is Diego Schwartzman, who put out a late call for tickets on Friday.

“Roland Garros, please ask for tickets for tomorrow,” he said after booking a forth-round encounter with Novak Djokovic. “I know you can do it. President of Roland Garros, president of the Federation. I can go alone, eh? It's okay.

“I love football. I love to watch these kind of matches. These past few days I was following just my team, Boca Juniors. We won the league in Argentina. We won yesterday. So we went through in the Copa Libertadores.

“So now it's time to Champions League, you know. But it's going to be a great match. Everyone who is here is not from Liverpool or Real Madrid. We are going to enjoy.

“One more time, if you have any tickets, I will be there tomorrow.”

Will someone get Schwartzman into Stade de France? Will I know any more about football by the time the winner is declared? Watch this space to find out!