'Off court, Rafael Nadal is a person who has...', says former ATP ace

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'Off court, Rafael Nadal is a person who has...', says former ATP ace

Rafael Nadal has come to Australia to stay there. The Spaniard enters the second week of these Australian Open after beating the French Adrian Mannarino for three sets to zero. A great return to Nadal, who in recent days had declared that he did not know if he had returned to playing tennis.

In the press conference following the match, Nadal focused on the grueling tiebreak of the first set: "The physicist answered me, because there were points in the tiebreak where I ran and gave a little more than I'm used to in terms of impact and save the balls set.

I played fantastic from 4-2 to 6-4. In that 6-4 I served very well, but then, I hit a bad serve. I wanted to serve open, because I would have had a better chance of winning the point, but I exaggerated. I wanted to go too fast and didn't give the lap I wanted.

And on another set point the same thing happened to me,” said Nadal. “[Mannarino] he was playing very well. At a very high level. He played very fast and uncomfortable balls. It was very difficult to play against him.

Mentally I got over it well. I fought to the end and won that tiebreak, and it was half a game. It was a meeting of great value ”. The number five in the world also analyzes his opponent's game and his abilities in this particular match: “He has a skill and he makes you play thorny.

Today, he was having an incredible sensation with the ball. Usually high balls with spin disturb him, but that wasn't the case today. He gave it all back and didn't let me breathe. Everything was happening fast and he too was serving well”.

Lopez reflects on Rafael Nadal

Marc Lopez recently revealed that the transformation from friend to coach of Rafael Nadal was not an easy one. He said it was made even more difficult since it involved critiquing a player whose game was virtually perfect.

"I’ve shared many moments with Rafa, but as a friend. Now it’s different. I found it a bit difficult to give instructions to a player who is close to perfection. Although I always say that from the outside, there are things that can be improved," Lopez said.

"I know Rafa very well. I’ve been watching his matches for many years and I know what he’s thinking when he plays. I feel obliged to tell him things because I want the best for him. Off court, Rafa is a person who has his [own] thoughts and doubts.

My role is to try and give him a hand with as much as possible," Lopez said. "On court I change my mindset and tell him what I’m seeing, and off court we have the same relationship as before. His surroundings are very important to him."