'Rafael Nadal's been amazing for the sport of tennis', says former No.1

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'Rafael Nadal's been amazing for the sport of tennis', says former No.1
'Rafael Nadal's been amazing for the sport of tennis', says former No.1 (Provided by Tennis World USA)

The former number 5 in the world, Tommy Robredo, gave a long interview to the Spanish news agency EFE and to everyone's surprise they asked him to give his opinion on the comparison between Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal.

Alcaraz, 18, is already a two-time ATP champion and is number 16 in the world. Some think Alcaraz could follow in Nadal's footsteps and win a Grand Slam as a teenager. "I don't know if he will be number one, number two, number seven, but he shows that he has something more.

What we can do is not say that he is the new Rafa Nadal, but the new Alcaraz, and then I think he will catch up," Robredo told EFE, according to We Love Tennis. Robredo, 39, announced that he will play his last tournament in Barcelona.

Robredo won his only title in Barcelona in 2004, after beating Gastón Gaudio in the final. "He knew I was going to retire for a long time, but the pandemic delayed everything," said Robredo. "I wanted both my friends and family to be present on the day of my retirement.

Now it will be time to dedicate myself to my family, especially my daughter. Until now I have not had anything more satisfying than tennis, but now I have found it."

Ash Barty praises Rafa Nadal

Having announced her retirement from tennis at the age of 25 citing a lack of physical and emotional "drive," Ashleigh Barty appeared astounded by the love and determination that Rafael Nadal has for the sport.

Almost a decade older than Barty, the Mallorcan is still going strong at the age of 35. "You think of Rafael Nadal as someone whose longevity in the sport has been undeniable. He's been amazing for the sport of tennis," Barty said.

"For me as a fan to see him do that over such an extended period has been a pleasure." While she admitted that she would miss tennis, the 25-year-old was confident that she would be able to find that same thrill in other parts of her life.

"I love the competition [too]. That's what has driven me the most in my career, that one-on-one competition and the thrill of the fight. I know that I'll miss it 100%. But I'll be able to get the adrenaline in different ways. Those ways will remain to be seen," Barty said.

"I know that I've been very fortunate to have so many incredible moments on the court where that competitive nature has come out on top and has really flourished at times. It's been an incredible career."

Rafael Nadal