Rob Steckley, the former coach of Denis Shapovalov, admitted he and the world No 14 used to marvel at Nadal’s ability to keep on fighting. “Nadal, that guy. He seems like he’s falling apart but he just never leaves us,” the Canadian tennis coach told the Match Point Canada podcast. “When I was coaching Denis, we’d always talk about when that guy was ever gonna leave tennis.”
“And he’s that guy that literally, there is nothing else for that guy you know. He’s got the most money in the world, he’s got everything,” the 42-year-old added. “And still, that guy will, even with one leg, he’s still gonna try to compete and do what he does, so that’s also admirable and courageous.”
The 35-year-old has beaten the World No. 1 ranked player 22 times till date, the most in ATP history.
Interestingly, the World No. 3 has defeated only Federer and Djokovic to achieve the feat, vanquishing the Swiss 13 times and the Serb nine times. Of the 13 wins against the Swiss 20-time Grand Slam champion, 11 have come in the final (four in Grand Slams), one in the semifinals (2005 Roland Garros) and one in the third round (2004 Miami Masters).
Against Djokovic, seven of the nine wins have come in the final (three in Grand Slams) and two in the semifinals (one in a Grand Slam). The former World No. 1 has also lost 19 matches top-ranked players, all of them against Federer (six times) and Djokovic (13 times).
- ‘I Feel Sad for Him’ – Paula Badosa Opens Up About Missing Rafael Nadal at Miami Open 2022 | essentiallysport.com
“To tell the truth, it is very sad. It’s sad anyway a tournament without Nadal. He’s a huge player, he’s my idol and there are few words that can sum up my admiration for him. I feel sad for him but I’m sure he will recover and get back to the courts quickly,” Badosa stated.
- Ruud: ‘No Joke’ Playing Golf With Nadal | ATP Tour
Ruud also shared that he’s played a a few rounds with Rafael Nadal in Mallorca, calling the Spaniard a “very good golfer”. The pair has yet to compete on the ATP Tour, though Nadal took the victory on the golf course.
“He’s a very, very tough competitor,” Ruud shared. “Honestly, a bit tough to play with, because he doesn’t say much because he’s so focused. Usually on the golf course you are laughing a little bit and joking around. With him, it’s no jokes,” he said with a smile.
Social media related to Rafa:
Rafa was recently spotted exercising at his academy’s gym – working on his legs by Guillaume Delamarre, a senior French ITF player.