The names of the Australian Open stars you pronounced WRONG are revealed – including Rafael Nadal

Remembering all your favorite athletes on the ATP and WTA tennis tours can be a challenge as players come from all corners of the world to attend events like the Australian Open.

It’s only natural that commentators and fans are occasionally wrong, especially when many Brits, Americans and Australians find Eastern European names difficult to pronounce.

However, there are some big names that people have been mispronouncing for a very long time.

Fortunately, the players themselves recorded the correct way of saying their name on the ATP and WTA websites.

Here are some of the superstars you might be shocked to find out got you wrong all along…

Rafael Nadal in action during his first round match at the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament at Melbourne Park

Rafael Nadal in action during his first round match at the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament at Melbourne Park

Rafael Nadal

To be fair, the great Nadal was called Rafa [RAH-FA] so long that his full name is no longer widely used. However, over time, it has become acceptable for commentators and sports fans to mispronounce his full name, Rafael.

Most commentators attach great importance to the middle part of the name, saying RA-FAY-AL – like the famous painter.

But that’s not how the name is pronounced in his native Spanish language. The middle part of his name has less emphasis on it and lacks the “ay” sound.

At full speed, the difference is nuanced. But the correct way to say Rafael is RA-FAHL, not RA-FAY-EL.

Do you think you know how to say Novak Djokovic like a Serb? Guess again - the Grand Slam legend (pictured training at Melbourne Park this week) has warned his name is hard to find

Do you think you know how to say Novak Djokovic like a Serb? Guess again – the Grand Slam legend (pictured training at Melbourne Park this week) has warned his name is hard to find

Novak Djokovic

If you’ve won 21 Grand Slams and managed a period of dominance, you’d think people would get your name right. But the great Djoker’s last name is constantly mispronounced by fans and commentators.

It’s fairly common to pronounce his last name as JOCK-O-VITCH, but that’s incorrect. In the correct Serbian language, his name is pronounced JOE-KO-VITCH.

“It’s not easy to pronounce,” Djokovic previously said.

“Let’s assume I appreciate the effort people put into pronouncing it correctly.”

Iga Swiatek of Poland is seen fighting Jule Niemeier of Germany in their first round match at the Australian Open on Monday

Iga Swiatek of Poland is seen fighting Jule Niemeier of Germany in their first round match at the Australian Open on Monday

Iga Swiatek

She has three Grand Slam titles to her name and has rocketed to world No. 1 in the absence of retired Australian superstar Ash Barty, but people still get Polish sensation Iga Swiatek’s name wrong.

The 21-year-old recently took to Instagram to set the record straight and the result isn’t quite as straightforward as you might think.

There are actually two different ways of saying her name, the traditional Polish way [Słitek]or the English way. She is satisfied with both, although in her words she says: “Polish is better”.

In English, her surname is commonly pronounced SVIER-TEK or a variation of it. But the full and correct pronunciation of her name is EE-GAH SH-VEON-TICK.

Here's a tip on how to pronounce Danish teenager Holger Rune's last name: It doesn't rhyme with

Here’s a tip on how to pronounce Danish teenager Holger Rune’s last name: It doesn’t rhyme with “melody”

Holger Rune

Holger Vitus Nødskov Rune was ranked No. 10 in the world and the Danish star is set to be aiming for a big year on the road in 2023. The 19-year-old has huge potential and is seen as one of the great guns to dominate once Nadal and Djokovic call it a day.

At first glance his name seems pretty easy to pronounce as many say HOL-GAH ROON. In correct Danish, however, his surname is pronounced ROON-EH.

Naomi Osaka retired from the Australian Open after becoming pregnant

Naomi Osaka retired from the Australian Open after becoming pregnant

Naomi Osaka

Unfortunately for tennis fans – but joyful for them – Osaka was a late exit from the Aussie Open as she will welcome her first child into the world.

Many may be wondering why she is on such a list, after all none of her names seem particularly challenging. However, numerous fans have pronounced her last name OH-ZARKA, even though the correct Japanese pronunciation is OH-SAH-KA.

If you got it wrong, don’t feel too bad. It is part of a common quirk of the English language called intrusive R pronunciation, in which people naturally and instinctively place an ARR sound between vowels, most often over two words but sometimes over two syllables.

Carlos Alcaraz of Spain celebrates with the championship trophy after beating Norway's Casper Ruud to win the US Open men's singles crown last year

Carlos Alcaraz of Spain celebrates with the championship trophy after beating Norway’s Casper Ruud to win the US Open men’s singles crown last year

Carlo Alcaraz

Alcaraz, another young boom player with a bright future and a name people can’t seem to pronounce correctly, may have been banned from the Australian Open but the man being dubbed the next Nadal has a bright future and already has a Grand Slam title under his belt after winning the 2022 US Open.

While his name may seem simple, it is pronounced differently in Spain. US and Australian commentators often say his surname AL-CAH-RAZ or AL-CAH-REZ, which seems phonetically correct. But the correct way to say his name is AL-CAH-RATH. Carlos is simply pronounced as if your vehicle was stolen, CAR LOSS.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/tennis/article-11642375/The-Australian-Open-stars-names-youve-pronouncing-WRONG-revealed-including-Rafael-Nadal.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 The names of the Australian Open stars you pronounced WRONG are revealed – including Rafael Nadal

Maureen Mackey

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