Former seven-time Grand Slam champion John McEnroe said he thought Jimmy Connors was the ultimate tennis warrior but then he met Rafael Nadal. Nadal, a 22-time Grand Slam champion, always plays with the same drive and tenacity.
Reflecting on Nadal's competitiveness, McEnroe said the Spaniard's fighting spirit is his greatest quality. “I’ve never seen anyone like him,” McEnroe told Tennis365. “I thought Jimmy Connors tried hard until I saw Rafael Nadal, this is insane.
And that’s the greatest quality he has, by far. I mean, the guy’s an unbelievable player, we all know that. But the fact that he can go out there and give that type of effort, you know, match in and match out, game in and game out, is something that people aspire to, but it’s very difficult to do.
Otherwise, everyone would do it. I mean, you just say, well go to Nick Kyrgios and say ‘go out and give an effort, you’ll be No 2, No 3 in the world. Well, if it was that easy, I guess he would do it. But you know, for him, it isn’t”.
Nadal won a Wimbledon match while severely injured
In the Wimbledon quarterfinal, Nadal was clearly hampered by an abdominal injury. After losing the first set versus Taylor Fritz, Nadal required an off-court medical timeout.
When Nadal returned to the court, it was clear he was unable to serve to his best. Still, Nadal found a way to beat Fritz in a match that lasted over four hours. The following day, the scans revealed Nadal sustained an abdominal tear.
Nadal called for a press conference at Wimbledon to announce his withdrawal from his semifinal versus Nick Kyrgios. Wimbledon finished 10 days ago and Nadal has returned to the practice court as he is aiming to be ready for the Montreal Masters, which starts on August 7.