'It's too early for Nadal comparisons', Swiatek insists after strong start at French Open

By Sports Desk May 27, 2024

Iga Swiatek insists it is "too early" for her to be compared with Rafael Nadal, despite her impressive record at the French Open.

The three-time champion, who lifted Coupe Suzanne Lenglen in 2020, 2022 and 2023, began her quest for a third successive Roland Garros title with a dominant 6-1 6-2 victory over Leolia Jeanjean on Monday.

Swiatek took just 61 minutes to wrap up her 15th straight win at the season's second major, becoming the first player to enjoy such a streak since Justine Henin's run of 24 straight victories between 2005 and 2010.

The Pole has now won 29 of her first 31 matches at the French Open, with only Chris Evert and Monica Seles (both 30) triumphing more often.

Her exploits on clay have drawn comparisons to those of 14-time men's singles champion Rafael Nadal, but the world number one still feels she has a long way to go before those can be made.

"I think it's too early [to be called Queen of clay]," she told Eurosport. "Comparing myself to [Nadal], I don't think I'm at that level yet. I still have many things to prove.

"He's a great person and a great athlete; I think he's shown that for many, many years. I'm just at the beginning. I'll do my best to take some lessons from him on being a good person and a good player."

"I'm really proud of my achievements and this has always been my favourite surface," added Swiatek, who will play Naomi Osaka in a blockbuster second-round showdown. 

"It feels like home here. Hopefully, I'm going to be here as long as possible."

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