Rafael Nadal won the Australian Open a couple of weeks ago, achieving one of the most unexpected feats of his entire career. The Spanish phenomenon, who had presented himself in Melbourne amidst a thousand uncertainties, reassembled Daniil Medvedev two sets in the final by lifting his 21st Grand Slam.
Thanks to this triumph, the former world number 1 overtook Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in the all-time rankings of the majors. The 35-year-old from Manacor will be the big favorite at Roland Garros, waiting to see if Nole will be present in Paris or not.
The Serbian's choice not to get vaccinated could affect his entire season, given the recent news from the United States and France. The 34-year-old from Belgrade was unable to defend his title at the Australian Open due to the well-known events, as well as having suffered serious damage to his image.
Novak will return to action in Dubai, while Rafa is enrolled in the prestigious Acapulco tournament. To Eurosport microphones, Mats Wilander told an anecdote about Nadal dating back to about 10 years ago.
Wilander opens up on Nadal
"I was next to Rafael Nadal in the locker rooms at Roland Garros, maybe 10 years ago, and I was hearing music.
I was getting ready to play a legends doubles. I was hearing this music, and I was like, 'Oh, it's Rafa,'" Wilander told Eurosport. "And I would love to know what kind of music he was listening to because it seems like it has to be techno and hyped up.
He's standing like this (bouncing on his feet) and he's swinging or whatever," Wilander continued. "And eventually, I heard it and it was some sort of Spanish romantic flamenco music and I just melted... he's getting excited, the music was as relaxing as anything."
Featuring in “The White Legend”, Rafael Nadal opened up about his love for Real Madrid, even calling the club a part of his life. He said, “I’m a huge football fan and Real Madrid is my favorite club.
It’s the club I support and love, it’s truly part of my life”. He further went on to explain the first time he saw Real Madrid playing live. He told that he first time saw the club live in his Mallorca. He said that he had to go out on the ground wearing a Real Madrid jersey, hand in hand with Míchel (José Miguel González).
However, being extremely shy, he didn’t come out in the end. Starting the 2002 season on a positive note, the World No. 5 entered the Australian Open as the 6th seed. Showing a glimpse of the vintage Nadal, Rafa went cruising into the finals of the Australian Open 2022.