Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic (each one accommodates him to his liking) are the three best players in the history of tennis. By titles, legacy, records and absolute dominance, they marked and continue to mark an era.
So much so that they have been at the top of the ranking for more than 15 years (only Andy Murray unseated them at some point) and each of them had the pleasure of lifting 20 Grand Slams trophies in his career. And beyond the time that passed since the three shared the circuit, there was only one tennis player who was able to defeat them in the same tournament.
Everyone remembers the feat of the wins in a row against the Big3. However, few keep in mind the martyrdom that King David meant to get rid of the first two encounters of him. In fact, against Arnaud Clément and against Tomas Berdych he won in three rounds.
He even defeated the Croatian in the tiebreak of the third. Undoubtedly, two battles that marked a break in that week. "I had not been playing my best tennis in the season," confessed the future champion later. The ranking placed him in 26th place and he had not been able to win a championship that year.
But fate had something better in store for him.
Nadal is currently recovering from his left-foot injury
Rafael Nadal and Toni Nadal had a long coaching partnership from 1990 to 2017. Under his uncle’s direction, Rafael Nadal attained the greatest heights of his career on the men’s circuit.
In a recent interview, Toni Nadal revealed the true character of the 20-time Grand Slam champion. The format of the interview was unique as people of different age groups and genders asked Toni questions. “For example, one of the things I said to Rafael was that it is very difficult to control the ball if you are not able to control your will.
In the end, if you are not able to control your will, which is part of the character, it is very difficult for you to control the ball. I understand that character is what we should pay more attention to in the formation of young people”.
Furthermore, he quoted, “I believe that in life, one has to learn to conjugate the verb endure: I hold on, you hold on”. It’s clear to see that Rafael’s steely determination and resolute focus were coached to him from a young age by Toni.
Nadal has been out of action since the Washington Open in August. The Spaniard is recovering from a chronic foot injury that forced him to call time on his 2021 season.