'I'm incredibly impressed with Rafael Nadal's forehand', says top coach

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'I'm incredibly impressed with Rafael Nadal's forehand', says top coach

Rafael Nadal defeated Daniil Medvedev in the Australian Open final and won the 21st Grand Slam of his extraordinary career. Fresh from a long stop due to injury and arrived in Australia amidst a thousand uncertainties, the Spanish phenomenon has achieved one of the most unexpected feats of the modern era.

After surviving two real battles against Denis Shapovalov and Matteo Berrettini, the 35-year-old from Manacor came back two sets behind Medvedev in the final act. The Iberian managed to crack the certainties of his opponent just when the Russian seemed one step away from the finish line.

By clinching his second title at Melbourne Park, Rafa overtook Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in the all-time Majors rankings. The Majorcan became the fourth man in history to have won all the Slams at least twice (along with Djokovic, Rod Laver and Roy Emerson).

Nadal won his first 20 games in 2022, a streak that ended against Taylor Fritz in the Indian Wells final. In the latest edition of the 'The Tennis Files' podcast, well-known coach Mike Digby confided that he was blown away by Rafa's forehand.

Rafa Nadal is a tennis legend

"I'm incredibly impressed with Rafael Nadal's forehand, with Federer's forehand, with Djokovic's returns, but I'm more impressed with their ability to do all of that as a competitor under pressure, under extreme pressure," Digby continued.

"And that's what makes them the great champions that they are." Speaking on a recent episode of The Tennis Files Podcast, Digby shared an important insight he has gained from spending time with top players and coaches.

"When you become a top 100 player, top 200 player, everyone can play tennis," Digby said. "Everyone can hit a forehand, everyone can hit a backhand, everyone is pretty athletic, everyone can serve pretty well, everyone can return pretty well.

But the players that are ultra successful are the ones that can compete the best. And I think just reinforcing daily, having a competive environment and understanding what a competitor means - even for the top 100 players - that's what wins them matches.

The likes of Djokovic, Nadal and Federer - they have the basics both on court and off court nailed on," Digby said. "So then it allows them to be a little bit more creative in certain moments. No need to ever overcomplicate things, just get the basics done really, really well." Djokovic was beaten in the second round of the 2022 Monte-Carlo Masters by Alejandro Davidovich Fokina this week.