Rafael Nadal's willpower has inspired many young athletes in every corner of the planet. After playing just seven official tournaments last year, the Spanish phenomenon left everyone speechless in the first half of 2022. The former world number 1 won the Australian Open and Roland Garros, demonstrating for the umpteenth time to be an absolute sports legend.
The 36-year-old from Manacor has thus hoisted himself at 22 Slam, stretching over Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer in the all-time ranking. The Serbian has shortened the gap by triumphing at Wimbledon for the seventh time in his career, but is unlikely to be able to travel to the United States to play the last major of the season.
Rafa had to give up the Wimbledon semi-final against Nick Kyrgios due to a tear in his abs, which will not prevent him from taking part in the American away game. The Iberian has already resumed training and will participate in the Masters 1000 in Montreal.
In a long interview with 'GQ', British player Jack Draper revealed that he has always been a fan of Nadal.
Draper praises Rafa Nadal
"Just the way he [Rafael Nadal] operates on a tennis court and off the court as well. His attitude, I think everyone can see that in any sport.
He is someone who fights hard for every point. He's a very humble guy. I think you can learn so many lessons from a great athlete like that," said the 20-year-old. Earlier this month, the Spaniard had a wonderful run in the Wimbledon Championships.
However, his campaign ended in the quarterfinals. Nadal had to withdraw from the tournament before his last-four clash against Nick Kyrgios owing to an abdominal injury. The duo of Rafael Nadal and Alejandro Tabilo will play in an exhibition match in Tabilo's home country of Chile and in an interview with Latercera, Tabilo spoke about the opportunity and how much it means to him, considering Nadal is his idol.
"For me it is incredible. Since I was little I have always tried to do everything like [Rafael] Nadal; he is my idol and playing with him in Chile is a dream, it will be unforgettable. So to have this opportunity to exhibit here with him makes me very happy," Tabilo said.
During a recent interview, the Spaniard talked about how he, along with Federer and Djokovic have changed the dynamics of tennis. He said, “In tennis, as in all sports, there has always been a generational change”.