'That's why Rafael Nadal maintains the illusion of...', says ATP ace

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'That's why Rafael Nadal maintains the illusion of...', says ATP ace

Rafael Nadal started the season very well, despite having recovered from a long stop due to injury. The Spanish phenomenon showed up in Australia amid a thousand uncertainties, but he managed to accomplish one of the most memorable feats of his entire career.

The former world number 1 first took home the Melbourne ATP 250, then broke the bank at the Australian Open. Taking advantage of Novak Djokovic's absence due to the well-known vaccination issue, Rafa took the chair in a tournament that had often been hostile to him in the past.

After surviving two real battles against Denis Shapovalov and Matteo Berrettini, the 35-year-old from Manacor came back two sets behind Daniil Medvedev in the final. Thanks to that success, the Iberian overtook Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic to reach 21 Majors.

Nadal also became the fourth man in history to have won all the Slams at least twice (along with Djokovic, Rod Laver and Roy Emerson). As if that were not enough, the Majorcan also imposed himself in the prestigious ATP in Acapulco.

A fractured rib repaired during the Indian Wells tournament will force him to miss the first rounds on red. During an interview granted to MARCA, Jaume Munar praised his illustrious compatriot.

Munar pays tribute to Rafa Nadal

"Today I already have my training patterns because I have more experience than a few years ago," Munar began.

"But Rafael Nadal helped me a lot, and I will always remember, when I arrived at the structure, seeing the way he trained and the desire and intensity with which he did it. He is an inspiration to me and to all children. If there is someone who has had a direct impact on my career, it is him." The 24-year-old answered in the affirmative before delving deeper into the things that drive the Mallorcan on a daily basis.

"Yes, it surprises me, but less than many people because I have been lucky enough to know Rafa from within, I know what his ambitions are and I know that he likes his day-to-day life and that he likes tennis," Munar explained.

"He plays because he loves it and of course he also competes for records, obviously. He enjoys what he does, that's why he maintains the illusion of 18 years ago." Jaume Munar was also asked to share his thoughts on countryman Carlos Alcaraz's rapid progress.

"I have always said that Alcaraz was going to be a star, in fact he already is," Munar said. "He was very good, he is more so this year and will be more so next year. He is like Rafa (Nadal), he has had the ability to grow and improve at the same time."

Rafael Nadal