When we talk about Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, we are talking about two of the greatest legends not only in the history of tennis, but in the entire sport. The two, along with Serbian champion Novak Djokovic, have rewritten all the records in tennis history and continue to dominate the circuit after more than 20 years.
The last great demonstration came with Rafael Nadal: the Iberian champion won the first 20 games of the season; Despite returning from a foot injury, Rafa eliminated everyone who stood in his way, winning the 2022 Australian Open final and becoming the first male tennis player in history to win 21 Grand Slam titles.
Speaking to the microphones of Diario As, the Spanish tennis player Tommy Robredo explained the influence that Federer and Nadal, in particular, have given to this sport. The experienced Spanish tennis player has announced that he will retire this year and his farewell will take place in a few weeks at his home tournament in Barcelona.
Robredo is currently number 343 in the world. Robredo explained: "When I started playing tennis, at most you would earn €6,000 if you were eliminated in the first round of a Grand Slam tournament. With the arrival of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, things have changed and now, even if they eliminate you in the first round, they give you 60,000 euros.
My career? Without Rafa I think I would have won a few more games, but I'm still satisfied."
Rafa suffered a stress fracture in one of his ribs
During a press conference at the BNP Paribas Open, Rafael Nadal recalled an incident from Roland Garros in 2005 when the crowd was constantly on his back.
The Spaniard said the atmosphere at times was "unplayable" but that his job was to maintain his focus and find a way to carry on. "I've always had a very basic point of view and it's to do the things that are going to help you play better or win more.
You can be sad, you can be very upset - if that helps you play better or win more, do it. But that's not true in my case," Nadal said. "When I am upset or lose my concentration, I say, I am not this kind of guy [who gets upset].
I like to be positive, not negative. Not just on the tennis court, in my normal life too. So, of course, I remember that match and for a moment it was unplayable, but was not my job to stop that. It was the referee's job to stop this atmosphere that was making it impossible to play tennis in that moment," he said.
"But then I think we stopped for light or rain, I don't know, and then we come back the next day. But I just tried to do the things that help me to keep going."