While awaiting the return of Rafael Nadal, who was stopped for a rib injury in the semifinal of the Indian Wells Master 1000, former French tennis player and coach Arnaud Clement spoke of the Majorcan tennis player as an "extremely polite" person.
Speaking at the Tennis Legend Podcast, as quoted by We Love Tennis, Clement told some anecdotes about the 21-time slam champion, praising him both as a sportsman and as a person. The former French tennis player, finalist at the Australian Open 2001, spoke of Nadal’s great education on and off the pitch.
“What I find extraordinary about Rafa is that he has always been a player, with his entourage of him, [which is] extremely polite. He always comes to say hello, comes to shake hands as he wins Grand Slams, tournaments every week, Masters 1000 all the time.
I don't remember where he was, the day after one of his great victories, we were in the hotel lobby and then he sees me, our eyes meet, I make a small gesture to say hello and then he crosses the hall to shake my hand ” said Clement.
The former world number 10 then added: "So we respect each other, but I can't say we're close or anything, but that's it, it's Nadal, that's it. It's simple, we always say goodbye, at any time.
Ferrer pays tribute to Rafa Nadal
Former World No.
3 David Ferrer feels it will be a difficult stage for Spanish tennis after Rafael Nadal retires from the sport. "The post-Nadal stage will be difficult," David Ferrer said. "Rafa's shadow covers a lot. There will be no other player like him.
But we are lucky. We have Carlos Alcaraz who is going to be a benchmark for Spanish tennis. But I don't like to compare him to Rafa because he is unique and different. He is special." Despite Nadal not competing, David Ferrer said that he was happy to have players like Stefanos Tsitsipas, Casper Ruud and Carlos Alcaraz in the draw.
"I am very happy to have players like Tsitsipas who made the final with Rafa last year and was about to win Roland Garros, he is a very charismatic player," Ferrer said. "Then we have new top 10 like Casper Ruud, who played the Masters last year and is very good on clay.
From there I want to name Roberto Bautista, Pablo Carreño and of course Carlos Alcaraz, this year's revelation, a young player with a great future and who will be a benchmark for Spanish tennis after Rafa."