'Rafael Nadal has already won many tournaments, let me...', says ATP ace

by   |  VIEW 7063

'Rafael Nadal has already won many tournaments, let me...', says ATP ace

After a decent singles career, Horacio Zeballos has established himself as one of the best players on the doubles tour. The Mar del Plata tennis player is paired with Marcel Granollers and both have already won several important titles.

Hoping to make it to a Grand Slam, the Argentinian is fully enjoying his last years as a professional. Host of the 'ESPN Show' program, the 36-year-old South American retraced the most significant moments of his career on the ATP circuit.

Zeballos could not help but remember his most prestigious victory, obtained against Rafael Nadal in the ATP final in Vina del Mar in 2013. The Spanish champion is a source of inspiration for many players, having remained at the top of men's tennis even after you are over 30.

The former world number 1 played the misery of seven official tournaments in 2021, thanks to a chronic foot injury. The Majorcan will return to the Abu Dhabi exhibition in December, before flying to Melbourne for the first major of 2022.

Zeballos on his match with Rafael Nadal

"I have played in singles against Rafael Nadal three times, only one final, that of Viña del Mar. He beat me the first time at Roland Garros, I beat him this one in Viña ...

and when we were 1-1, the next game I shouldn't have entered the field (laughs). It happens that they were semis for a Godó ... I can tell you about Viña's game by heart. I have seen it many times and I look at it every so often, when I want to give myself an injection I don't want to get bigger, but if you want, let's give some data: there are only three other players who defeated Nadal in a final on clay, and they are Djokovic, Federer and Murray.

And I'm in there: once they raised him, no I know where, I looked at the comments below and people wondered: "And who is this Zeballos ?!" - Zeballos stated. "A funny anecdote of that day is that he was with "Uncle Toni", his coach of his whole life, and the only thing that yelled at him was: "Come on, Rafa!" He did not give him any indication.

I was there next to him, he just shouted that. At one point I look at him and say: "Come on, Toni, he has already won many tournaments, let me win this one, I haven't won any yet." He was dying of laughter. It was a final in which I came with a lot of confidence, it was my second singles final.

From the tactical point of view, I was fortunate that it was done at night, which made his ball slow down a bit. Everything slowed down a little, I was enlightened, I was running everything. From a mental point of view, as I said, I came with a lot of confidence and had zero pressure: that made me show my best tennis" - he added.