Simona Halep’s coach Darren Cahill said Rafael Nadal has been a big motivator in the work ethic for the Romanian player:
Rafa has inspired her with what he’s been able to do, with the way he trains, with his work ethic, the way he fights for every single match no matter what the score is. He can be down 6-Love, 5-Love, 40-Love. You wouldn’t even be able to tell with him.
That, to me, is what she’s modeled the last year and a half on. No one’s going to be like Rafa. But you see a little bit of the old Simona compared to the new Simona, and she’s more like that, because she’s always had a great work ethic.
I have never had to push her on the practice court. She always gives 100%. She’s like a little Rafa on the practice court. We need to make her a little Rafa on the match court, as well.
It’s nice that her two victories, the one she had in Paris and the one she had last week [in Montreal], both coincided — we spoke about this after the match — coincided with Nadal doing exactly the same. It’s been pretty cool, actually.