Rafael Nadal has denied all those who believed that he would not be competitive after the age of 30. Fresh from a rather complicated 2021, the Spanish champion redeemed himself at the beginning of 2022 by winning the Australian Open against all odds.
In a tournament that had often been hostile to him in the past (his only victory dates back to 2009), Rafa has accomplished a feat destined to go down in history. A fractured rib and pain in his foot affected his approach to Roland Garros, but that didn’t stop him from lifting his 14th trophy in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower.
The 36-year-old from Manacor has thus hoisted himself at 22 Slam, stretching over Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer in the all-time ranking. The Serbian has narrowed the gap by triumphing at Wimbledon, but is unlikely to be able to travel to the United States to compete in the US Open.
Nadal has resumed training this week and is expected to return to the field in Montreal. In a long interview granted to ‘Talento on board’, the 22-time Grand Slam champion provided the youngsters with some simple but very useful tips.
Rafa Nadal will play in Montreal
“This is the advice I would give to young people: don’t forget to enjoy yourself, fight for your dreams and surround yourself with good people. That is what we try to do on a day-to-day basis with them (students ) at the (Rafa Nadal) structure,” said Rafael Nadal.
The tennis great admitted that he has was not able to spend a lot of time with friends and family during his younger days. However, he still made the most of every opportunity he got to do so. “I’m not much of giving advice, but I always say that to be a professional or to dedicate your life to something you have to put aside other things.”
he continued. “My career has always been a priority, but that has not stopped me from going out with friends and enjoying myself, doing the things that a normal young person does, even though I have done them fewer times,” the Spaniard added.
Ahead of the US Open, John McEnroe praises Rafa’s strong will and passion. He said, “I’ve never seen anyone like him”. He compared the player with the legendary tennis player Jimmy Connors. McEnroe said, “I thought Jimmy Connors tried hard until I saw Rafael Nadal, this is insane”. Jimmy Connors won eight grand slam titles and is a former world no. 1 player and a stark opponent of McEnroe.