Tennis News: Rafael Nadal, Iga Swiatek and Novak Djokovic

  • Nadal gets a shirt
  • Swiatek doesn't invest
  • Djokovic gets a wake-up call
Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

The 2024 tennis year is a bit over a week ago. That seems a little insane since the 2023 season just finished at the end of November. Most sports get months-long offseasons, but not tennis. Rafael Nadal, Iga Swiatek, Novak Djokovic, and others get just about six weeks off.

But even when they aren't playing in ATP or WTA-sanctioned tournaments, there is always a random exhibition to participate in. The exhibitions are good for the players, however, because they get paid a lot of money to be in them. As professional tennis players play the sport to make as much money as possible, there is nothing wrong with taking part in exhibitions.

The WTA and ATP begin their run of 2024 tournaments on December 29 in Perth, Australia with the United Cup. The WTA ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand will start on January 1. On the ATP side, the Hong Kong Open and Brisbane International will also begin on January 1. But here is some other news for Thursday.

Rafael Nadal gets a special shirt from Lionel Messi

How popular and well-liked is Rafael Nadal? Simply put, a lot. In fact, arguably the greatest football/soccer player in history is such a fan of Nadal's that he gave the Spanish tennis great a gift from something the football player accomplished. Lionel Messi and Argentina won the World Cup in 2022 and on the one-year anniversary of the monumental victory, Messi sent Nadal a shirt he wore during the run of games.

The shirt now hangs at the Rafael Nadal Museum which is part of the greater Nadal Tennis Academy in Mallorca, Spain. Messi even signed the shirt, "For Rafa, with much affection and admiration." Now that's what you call respect.

Iga Swiatek is a 'control freak'

In a recent interview with Polish insurance group PZU Grupa, Iga Swiatek talked about a lot of things, from tennis to financial investing. Swiatek has won $24,592,763 in career prize money and makes even more through endorsements. But one thing she doesn't do with it is invest freely.

In the interview, Swiatek said, "And I'm a person who is, in short, a control freak, so everything has to be very organized...Generally when it comes to investing, I had a lot of thoughts last year, because there were a lot of offers and opportunities, but so far most of them stressed me out a lot, and that's because I didn't have a full economics education." Maybe she needs a great financial counselor because she certainly has a lot of money.

Novak Djokovic's 'wake-up' call

Speaking with Eurosport, former ATP player Alex Corretja said the top-ranked ATP player might have received a shock in losing to Jannik Sinner twice in the span of two weeks this past November. Novak Djokovic dominated tennis after losing Wimbledon in July and he won every ATP tournament he entered the rest of the year.

But those losses to Sinner are likely stinging Djokovic. Corretja thinks that could be good for Djokovic, though, saying, "It's a wake-up call to say, ‘okay, I'm doing unbelievably, but I can't relax for one second because some of the guys behind me, are going to push me so much.'"

Read more from Lob and Smash