Although he was initially considered a clay court specialist, Rafael Nadal has shown that he knows how to express himself at the highest levels on other surfaces as well. The 13 titles he won at Roland Garros have fueled his legend making him the ‘King of Clay’, but we must not forget that the Spaniard has also collected two Wimbledons, four US Open and an Australian Open.
The former world number 1 hoped to reach 21 Majors this year in Paris, but his run was interrupted in the semifinals by Novak Djokovic. A foot injury prevented the 35-year-old from Manacor from expressing himself 100% on French soil, so much so that he was forced to miss Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics in the following two months.
The Iberian veteran tried a timid return to Washington, but he had to surrender to Lloyd Harris and above all to the pain. Rafa will return to the field in 2022, but it is not yet clear whether or not he will participate in the Australian Open.
In an exclusive interview with Punto de Break, his compatriot Fernando Verdasco reviewed the most significant stages of his career. The Madrid’s best year was undoubtedly 2009, of which everyone remembers the wonderful battle with Nadal in Melbourne.
Verdasco opens up on Rafa Nadal
“Being at 100% at all times, I think Rafael Nadal demands one more step from you, both physically and mentally,” Verdasco said. Verdasco then made a humorous comment about Nadal’s Roland Garros success, saying that the 35-year-old has won the title in Paris “1000 times”
“Rafael Nadal has won Roland Garros 1000 times (laughs),” Verdasco said. “The toughest tournament mentally and physically in the world, but other Spaniards have dominated it before, this is seen in the history of tennis.”
Fernando Verdasco was later asked about Ken Rosewall’s comments that Rafael Nadal would not have been able to defeat Roger Federer so often if he was right-handed. “With his physique and mental strength, he would have won anyway,” Verdasco said.
“Technically it can be more or less showy, everyone says that Roger Federer is the most elegant, the one who plays the most beautiful,” Verdasco said. “Rafa does not play as beautiful as Roger, but Rafa in important moments he arrives from outside the court and hits a forehand on the run from outside the net…
and you are stunned. Rafael Nadal is one in a billion, otherwise he would not have had the career he has had,” he added.
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