'Rafael Nadal seems like he's falling apart but...', says expert

by   |  VIEW 8908

'Rafael Nadal seems like he's falling apart but...', says expert

Hubert Hurkacz and John Isner defeated one of the best doubles duos on the ATP Tour on Saturday to claim the title at the Miami Open Presented by Itau. Teaming up for the first time in 2022, the Polish/American pair earned a 7-6(5), 6-4 victory over Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski.

The win means the Sunshine Double for Isner, who had won the Indian Wells title with compatriot Jack Sock two weeks ago. “It certainly feels good, but I made a good pairing,” said Isner, who is only the second man to complete the sun double with different pairings in the same season (first since Jakob Hlasek in 1989).

“You guys watched that last game. We got to 40/30 and I didn't hit a single ball and we won the match. It is a pleasure to play with Hubi. He does so many things as well as we know how, and he also has a lot of stunt skills.

It's a lot of fun for me." The duo defeated three Grand Slam title-winning teams en route to the final (Krawietz/Mies, Ram/Salisbury, Kokkinakis/Kyrgios), and dropped Koolhof and Skupski to 23-5 on the season. "I think John is the best doubles player on Tour right now," Hurkacz said.

“It was definitely a fun week. Playing with John is a pleasure, so we had a great time”. He later added: “I love Miami so much. I was able to win singles last year and now I win doubles with John. This place is very special to me”.

Both Hurkacz and Isner are former singles champions in Miami, with the Pole winning in 2021 and the American in 2018. Rafael Nadal suffered a stress fracture to his ribs during the recently-concluded Indian Wells Masters while playing Carlos Alcaraz in the semifinals.

Nadal won his first 20 matches in 2022

Canadian tennis coach Rob Steckley lauded Rafael Nadal's never-say-die attitude on a recent podcast, highlighting how no barrier is big enough to stop the Spaniard from playing tennis.

Speaking on a recent episode of the tennis podcast Match Point Canada, the 42-year-old expressed his admiration at the manner in which Rafael Nadal has prolonged his career. "Nadal, that guy's (laughs) he seems like he's falling apart but he just never leaves us," Steckley said.

"When I was coaching Denis (Shapovalov), we'd always talk about when that guy was ever gonna leave tennis. And he's that guy that literally - there is nothing else for that guy you know. He's got the most money in the world, he's got everything," Steckley added.

"And still, that guy will, even with one leg, he's still gonna try to compete and do what he does, so that's also admirable and courageous."