'Rafael Nadal called my youngest son and...', says top coach
by SIMONE BRUGNOLI | VIEW 30570
The former Spanish tennis player, Marc López, contemplated retiring after the 2008 season but winning Doha with Rafael Nadal made him continue his career. In January 2009, López and Nadal won the Doha doubles title after beating Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic in the final.
Lopez then went on to have a successful doubles career when he won the 2016 French Open doubles title and achieved a No. 3 doubles ranking in 2013. "The key moment that helped me was in 2009, when we started to play doubles together.
In 2008, when that season ended, I was going through a difficult time in my career. I considered stopping. I had given up any hope of breaking into the Top 100 in singles after getting close in 2004. I didn't know what to do, and then the opportunity to play doubles with Rafa in Doha arose," Lopez told the ATP website.
"Tomeu [Salvà] had just retired and Nadal gave me the opportunity. That's when I realized he was good at doubles. With Rafa, everything is very easy, but we won the tournament, beating the World No. 1 pairing along the way.
Then, even when we weren't playing together, Rafa was always looking out for my results, helping me and giving me advice before big matches, like the French Open final I played with Feli [López]."
Uncle Toni comments on Rafa Nadal
Rafael Nadal's uncle Toni Nadal has expressed his surprise at the Spaniard's remarkable run at the Australian Open.
In an interview with Cadena SER, Uncle Toni revealed that his nephew initially felt he was in no position to compete in Melbourne. "Yes, I’m surprised, because I remember when three days before the start, Rafa called my youngest son to hit a few balls after being quarantined due to coronavirus.
At nine o’clock, we went to train and during training, he said, ‘I don’t know if I’m going to go or not because at the moment I’m not in condition for an Australian Open’. They only had three days to get a flight," said Toni Nadal.
“The following day, he perked up and said ‘Okay, come on, I’m going’. I think it was more the excitement of competing and returning to competition than believing in himself," added the 60-year-old. Rafael Nadal will square off against Matteo Berrettini in the semifinals of the Australian Open on Friday.
The Italian is in red-hot form, having beaten the likes of Gael Monfils, Pablo Carreno Busta and Carlos Alcaraz en route to the semifinals.