'Rafael Nadal still continues to play some fantastic tennis', says WTA star

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'Rafael Nadal still continues to play some fantastic tennis', says WTA star

Maria, it seemed that your opponent had a specially thought out tactic: he sent the balls lightly, he sent them deep, high. Do you agree that she followed this tactic and it worked? Yes, I agree that Irina-Kamelia played like this.

She does the same with almost all opponents, she varies the power of the blow. Sometimes, after hitting her, the ball dies completely. She does very well, we have to give her credit, but I was still able to find the strength in myself and in the end I won.

These types of matches are very difficult for coaches. What did your coach tell you after the game? In fact, he didn't say anything special. Although I noticed that I did a good job, he gave me time to relax. I lay down on the massage table, rested.

I think there will be a more detailed analysis on the topic. My team is happy with the way I found to win. But I myself am not satisfied with my behavior. There were too many emotions, too many complaints. Who was your favorite player when you were little? Who did they admire? My greatest love in tennis is Rafael Nadal.

He is still my idol, he is a great example. It is difficult to do on the court what he did and continues to do. We recently saw your posts on the social network Instagram in Russian. Do you really speak Russian? I would like to learn to speak Russian.

This is exactly the language I would like to learn.

Nadal is a 21-time Grand Slam champion

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova recently stated that Rafael Nadal's triumph in the final of the 2022 Australian Open was a source of inspiration for her.

The Russian particularly highlighted the fact that Nadal is able to play "fantastic" tennis even at the age of 35, before asserting that she considers the Spaniard a role model. "I watched [the 2022 Australian Open] final match," Pavlyuchenkova said.

"Unfortunately, I missed a set and a half at the beginning, but I managed to watch the most interesting part. To be honest, I was inspired by the fact that Rafael Nadal, at the age of 35, still continues to play some fantastic tennis.

[Because of] his fighting qualities and character, I consider him a role model," the Russian said. "The following day I went to training all pumped up and full of energy. For me, it was an inspiration in every sense. And that amazing forehand of his..." Rafael Nadal's next stop is expected to be at the Acapulco Open (February 20-26), followed by the Indian Wells Masters (March 10-20).

The Spaniard stated during a press conference earlier this week that as long as he remains fit, he will play both these tournaments before moving on to the clay season.