'Rafael Nadal slapped me on the shoulder and...', says WTA star



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'Rafael Nadal slapped me on the shoulder and...', says WTA star

Rafael Nadal did not shine in the first two matches played at Wimbledon, but he still managed to prevail over Francisco Cerundolo and Ricardas Berankis. The Spanish phenomenon has left a set on the street in both cases, proving that he has not yet found the right feeling with the London meadows.

The former world number 1, who hadn't set foot on the grass for three years, needs time to regain confidence on a surface not very suited to his characteristics. Rafa will face Italian Lorenzo Sonego for a place in the round of 16.

2022 has been full of joys for the Iberian up to now; just think that the 36-year-old from Manacor won two Grand Slams, stretching over Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in the all-time ranking. Although he does not admit it publicly, the Iberian dreams of making that 'Calendar Grand Slam' sensationally missed by Djokovic last year.

At the press conference, the Majorcan spent fine words for the very young Cori Gauff. The finalist of the last Roland Garros wanted to thank him.

Coco Gauff pays tribute to Nadal

“They mean a lot to me. Rafael Nadal is one of the greatest in this sport, if not the greatest.

I see him in the players' area, he's very nice. He always intimidates me because he is Rafa. I remember that at Roland Garros he slapped me on the shoulder and said: 'Good job' I answered him when he had already passed the corridor because I was shocked,” Coco Gauff said.

“He is one of the best players. We see each other every week, but he continues to impress. Like with Nole, Roger, Serena or Venus. Hearing that from him is great, I hope to live up to expectations,” she added. Rafael Nadal is one of the most skillful players in the sport.

However, apart from his playing style, his mental toughness has played a major role in his success over the years. In yet another example of his mental fortitude, Nadal recently shared his thoughts about his retirement. He started by saying, “My philosophy is couple of weeks ago I was close to it [retirement], Now I don’t feel that way (smiling).

That’s my philosophy. I have been happy outside of tennis, without a doubt. I have a lot of things that I like to do away from tennis, so I am not worried about that. But, of course, when that day arrives, going to be a change. All the changes in this life takes a while. You need to adapt to the changes,” Nadal admitted.