Rafael Nadal: I was a big fan of Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras

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Rafael Nadal: I was a big fan of Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras

Former world No. 1 Rafael Nadal revealed as a kid he enjoyed watching matches between Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras. The rivalry between Agassi and Sampras is one of the greatest in tennis history and Nadal absolutely loved watching two Americans going against each other.

“When I was a kid, I was a big fan of Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi, and I loved watching matches between them,” the 20-time Slam champion told Japanese sports magazine Number. “I learned an aggressive playing style from Sampras and a fighting spirit from Agassi.

“The matches between them were very inspiring as they are two very different players. “Of course I was also influenced by my current coach (and fellow Spaniard) Carlos Moya. Going further back in history, I like the game of Ilie Nastase”.

Nadal loves tennis history

Nadal is a big fan of how the game was played a long ago and he appears to regret that the game is being played much differently nowadays. “I have a longing for tennis at that time,” Nadal went on.

“Because there was more sensory play than power-based play. There was magical play. “At that time, talent and tactics were more important on the court than they are now. There was a longer offence and defence before scoring points, the game really tested your patience.

“Modern tennis lacks this. Clay courts can still do that, but grass and hard courts are almost impossible. Tennis is getting faster”. A few days ago, Toni Nadal said that motivating Nadal has never been an issue.

"I've been asked several times how to motivate a guy who has won everything. First of all, Rafael hasn't won everything. If a guy who is lucky that life is going well and has challenges to face isn't motivated, then he's ungrateful. I think you have to be motivated in life," Toni said.