Rafael Nadal: 'He has my admiration as a player'

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Rafael Nadal: 'He has my admiration as a player'

It was not too lucky a 2021 for Rafael Nadal, struggling with a series of physical problems. The pain in his back and foot prevented the Spanish champion from reaching 100% of form, despite the two titles won respectively in Barcelona and Rome.

The former world number 1 failed the assault on his 14th Roland Garros, having had to surrender to Novak Djokovic in the semifinals. The 35-year-old from Manacor has missed both Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics, hoping to get back in good shape on the North American hardcourt.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion tried to return to Washington, where he was defeated by Lloyd Harris at the end of a tough match. At that moment, Rafa realized that it would take him longer to heal his foot and get back competitive.

It is no coincidence that - shortly thereafter - the Iberian announced that he had to close his season early. We will see the Majorcan only in 2022, even if his presence at the Australian Open is not certain. Tennis fans are well aware of Nadal's passion for football and especially for Real Madrid.

Using his Twitter profile, Rafael spent nice words for Karim Benzema.

Nadal praises Karim Benzema

“My admiration as a player, the commitment to sports and professionalism at his age. Good luck and my support for the 2021 Golden Ball, Karim Benzema”, tweeted Rafael Nadal.

Benzema has been getting a lot of support from Real Madrid as they want him to be one of the top contenders for the Golden Ball this year. Nadal’s extension of support would be a huge plus to all Real Madrid fans across the globe.

Alongside tennis, the Spaniard has been attending several events over the past few week to discharge endorsement duties as he got to spend time off tennis. Rafael Nadal, during his speech on Tuesday, elaborated on his former coach’s statements.

The Spaniard stressed the need to build a strong temperament, and explained that setting goals and pursuing them diligently is important to achieve success. “There’s no greater personal satisfaction than going home knowing that you’ve done everything possible to achieve your goals,” Nadal said.

"With effort, dedication and humility you always achieve something, which is to make progress toward your objectives." The 20-time Grand Slam champion also said it was important to keep striving to improve. “Mentally, that really helps you to be alert and active.

I don’t understand life any other way,” Nadal said. "Working and training for the sake of training, without any goal to get better … makes no sense. It’s boring”.