'Rafael Nadal is a very tough competitor', says ATP star

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'Rafael Nadal is a very tough competitor', says ATP star

Tennis coach Rob Steckley called Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal great champions and also applauded the Serb for always staying true to himself and his principles. Djokovic was unable to participate in the Australian Open as Nadal won his 21st Grand Slam at Melbourne Park last January.

Steckley has worked with big names, having coached the likes of Denis Shapovalov and Lucie Safarova. "Nadal and Djokovic are amazing at staying on track," Steckley said on the Match Point Canada podcast, quoted by Sportskeeda.

"I think they are at a different stage of their career or whatever, they want to achieve different things." Following Djokovic's expulsion from Australia, many thought the Serb would change his mind and get vaccinated. Instead, Djokovic said that his principles and beliefs are above his tennis career.

"You have Djokovic holding on to his beliefs about, you know, against, what was it, not getting fully vaccinated? I'm definitely not statistically inclined, so bear with me, but I know his beliefs are something I he believes and that's what he stands for, and it's crazy to think that someone in his position is going to stick to their guns in the midst of everything that's going on against the world."

Casper Ruud on Rafa Nadal

Casper Ruud said that Rafael Nadal is a tough competitor when it comes to playing golf and remarked that golf wasn't the only sport in which the Spaniard managed to beat him.

"I have always watched The Masters in golf, and obviously it's coming up next week and I can't wait for it to watch on TV again. It's fun, because I will probably be here in the country while it's ongoing, in Houston next week at the tournament.

Yeah, they show it all over TV, so it's a perfect place to watch The Masters." He also mentioned that Nadal is a good golfer and a tough, tough competitor. "Yes, I have," Ruud added. "Played with him a couple of times in Mallorca.

He's a very good golfer, and... No I didn't win. He beat me there as well. He's a very, very tough competitor. Honestly, like, a bit tough to play with, because he doesn't say much because he's so focused. Usually on the golf course you are laughing a little bit and joking around.

With him, it's no jokes." Standing between Casper Ruud and a first Masters 1000 title is 14th seed Carlos Alcaraz who has played some sensational tennis lately.