Coach Carlos Moya revealed Rafael Nadal apologized to him after beating him in their first meeting in 2003. In 2003, a teenage Nadal defeated former world No. 1 Moya 7-5 6-4 in Hamburg. Nadal had known Moya for a very long time and he seemingly felt bad after beating the former French Open champion.
Moya has been a member of Nadal's coaching staff for several years now. "It was not my best game, honestly. He also did not play that great, we were both a little bit nervous about the situation. I knew what could happen when he played against me, he respected me, and when he beat me, he was very shy, nervous and said - I'm sorry, I won - and I said - no worries," Moya said in a video uploaded by the Rafael Nadal Academy, per Sportskeeda.
Moya: I knew Nadal was destined to be a great player
Nadal and Moya met again in 2003 and Moya won their second meeting in Umag. Nadal and Moya clashed six more times and Nadal ended up with a 6-2 head-to-head versus Moya.
"That day we were rivals. We were friends, training partners and that day we were rivals for the first time in an official championship. Well, at that time, I was considered the favorite, I was among the top-5 in the world and he, well, I don't remember very well, should have been 50,60,70 or something like that," Moya admitted.
Moya claims he knew from Day 1 Nadal would become a great player. Now, Nadal is a record 21-time Grand Slam champion and considered as one of the greatest players of all-time. "I understood that it was the first of many times that he would win and I knew he would go on to be a great player but, well, he also showed me that he also had what it takes to win and be in the top 10 and after that he had fullfilled all that he promised at that time," Moya said.