Indian Wells tournament director Tommy Haas sat down with We Are Tennis for an interview, during which he named Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic as one of the fastest players on the court. Haas was asked to name the GOATs in specific categories and one of the questions he received was who was the GOAT for track speed.
"You have Gael Monfils. You have De Minaur. Obviously Djokovic and Nadal," Haas replied. Haas hoped to have Djokovic at the event, but the Serb was denied entry to the United States due to his vaccination status. That left this year's edition of Indian Wells with only one member of the group of the big three, as Roger Federer also skipped the event.
In the absence of Djokovic and Federer, Nadal reached the final. Nadal narrowly missed winning his fourth Indian Wells title when he was beaten by Taylor Fritz in the final. Fritz, who is in the best position of his career, number 13, lost the final 6-3, 7-6 (5) against Nadal.
After the final, Nadal revealed that he had difficulty breathing. "I was in pain, really. I was having trouble breathing, and I don't know if it was something in the rib. I don't know yet. When I was breathing and moving, it was like a needle all the time in here.
I was a little dizzy from that pain. It is a type of pain that limits me a lot. It's not just about pain; I don't feel very well because it affects my breathing. It is more than being sad about defeat; that is something that I accepted immediately, already before the end of the game."
Jim Courier reflects on Nadal
Jim Courier lavished praise on Rafael Nadal in a recent interview, remarking how highly unprecedented and impressive it is that the Spaniard still keeps racking up wins at the age of 35.
"[Rafael Nadal winning at the age of 35] just seems so foreign to me. I was already playing on the Champions Tour when I was 35," Courier said. "The way that he just loves to compete and be able to manage his body and all his issues, it's just inspiring.
He's just an amazing cat." Bringing up the fourth-round clash against Reilly Opelka in the desert to prove his point, Courier pointed out how the American did everything right but still couldn't manage to beat the World No.
3. "Reilly [Opelka] fought great [in the fourth round] and played well, he was a beast. But the thing is, Rafa is a beast too," Courier said. "The tennis ball doesn't know how old Rafa is. This is his best ever start [to the year] in his career."