Adrian Mannarino: Some said Rafael Nadal was done 10 years ago but he's still winning

Mannarino praises Nadal's longevity and his ability to prove the doubters wrong.

by Dzevad Mesic
Adrian Mannarino: Some said Rafael Nadal was done 10 years ago but he's still winning

Adrian Mannarino has praised Rafael Nadal's longevity and the Spaniard's ability to prove the doubters wrong. Throughout his career, Nadal has been dealing with injuries and setbacks. But at the age of 36, Nadal is ranked at No 2 and he is coming off a 2022 season in which he won two Grand Slam titles.

"Rafa, it's been ten years since we were told that he had six months left to play, that his knees were ruined, that his foot was ruined. Then the guy, ten years later, he runs everywhere, he wins Grand Slams. These guys are aliens," Mannarino said on the We Are Tennis podcast, per Quentin Moynet.

Nadal praised Mannarino

In this year's Australian Open round-of-16, Nadal met Mannarino. Mannarino didn't go down without a fight but Nadal still managed to escape with a straight-set win 7-6 (14) 6-2 6-2.

In the first-set tie-break, Nadal saved four set points before finally realizing one of his set points to win a tight opener. After the match, Nadal acknowledged that Mannarino was a tricky opponent. “His ball was very difficult to control, very flat, very fast.

I’m very happy that I survived that first set, without a doubt," Nadal said after beating Mannarino earlier this year. Even though Nadal defeated Mannarino in three sets, he admitted that things could have been much more complicated for him had the Frenchman won the first set.

“Anything could happen there. I was a little bit lucky at the end. Everybody knows how mentally [tough] this game is. It was a tough one and after that crazy first set, I think it was so important the break at the beginning of the second set," Nadal said.

Against Nadal, Mannarino has never won. Nadal and Mannarino have played against each other three times as the Spaniard owns a 3-0 head-to-head record against the Frenchman.

Adrian Mannarino Rafael Nadal