Iga Swiatek’s perfect response to bizarre question about Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal

Shahida Jacobs
Iga Swiatek press conference
Iga Swiatek speaks to the media

Tennis players are often asked strange and usual questions at press conferences and Iga Swiatek was left puzzled by one such question after her third-round match at the Italian Open.

Shortly after beating Yulia Putintseva 6-3, 6-4 on Saturday, Swiatek attended the post-match media duties at Foro Italico when one journalist came up with an odd question about the attention that tennis greats Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are receiving in Rome.

Swiatek was asked: “You’re the No 1. All eyes are on Djokovic and Nadal. How do you explain it? Why is the attention of the people not on you?”

The four-time Grand Slam winner was naturally confused as she replied: “Why what?”

The follow up question stated: “The attention of people is not on you here in Rome. How do you explain it? Sorry for my question.”

And then the Pole gave an excellent response to question that didn’t really deserve an answer.

“Well I don’t know if that was a punch or not. I think there is some attention on me, but I totally understand why Rafa and Novak, they have such a huge fan base. It’s not like I’m jealous or something,” she said.

“Well it’s Rafa’s last tournament, not last, but last tournament in Rome possibly. I get why people are focusing on watching him.

“Novak, obviously he’s the GOAT as well. I don’t understand the question honestly.”

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Luckily for Swiatek, the press conference moved on.

Fresh from winning the Madrid Open, the world No 1 took her unbeaten run to eight with her win over Putintseva.

She is looking to become only the third player after Serena Williams and Dinara Safina to win the Madrid and Rome events in the same year since it became back-to-back events on the WTA calendar in 2009.

Asked if it is on her radar, she said: “Winning the next match is on my radar. As usual, taking everything step by step is the best way to go. There’s still a long way. Yeah, I need to focus on what I need to focus on.

“But obviously it’s hard to win these tournaments, especially when you don’t have time to really get used to the conditions if you play well in Madrid.”

Swiatek will face former world No 1 Angelique Kerber for a place in the quarter-final after the German, who only returned to action at the start of the year after taking the 2023 season off to give birth, defeated Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-3, 7-6 (7-4).