'Rafael Nadal's the greatest example ever', says ATP legend

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'Rafael Nadal's the greatest example ever', says ATP legend

Rafael Nadal will make a stunning return to the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships (DDFTC) next month, 15 years after his last competitive appearance in the United Arab Emirates. Nadal, the 2006 DDFTC men's champion, last appeared at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium in 2008.

Since then, he has established himself as one of the greatest men's players in tennis history, winning a record 22 titles. of grand slams. Currently ranked No. 2 in the world, Nadal will return for the annual ATP 500 event, which runs from February 27 to March 4.

“As one of the most instantly recognizable personalities in world sport and one of the most decorated players to ever grace the game, we are absolutely delighted to welcome Rafa back to the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships after 15 years.

The last time Rafa played in Dubai he had won three Grand Slams. He returns having amassed more Grand Slam titles than any other male player in history,” said Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice President and CEO of Dubai Duty Free.

Last year was historic for Nadal, who is now 36 years old. In the first Grand Slam of the season in Melbourne, he won a second Australian Open and 21st Grand Slam title, passing Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer on the list of all-time Grand Slam winners.

Nadal also became only the second player in history to complete the double Grand Slam of his career. Five months later, he captured his 14th French Open title, becoming the tournament's oldest winner, extending his unrivaled Roland Garros record to 106 wins from 109 matches.

Commenting on Rafa's return, Ramesh Cidambi, Dubai Duty Free COO and Chairman of the tournament organizing committee, said: "The entire world has seen Rafa's extraordinary career and applauded him as a true champion in the sport.

Rafa Nadal is preparing for the AO

John McEnroe said that Rafael Nadal has also benefitted from having rivals like the Serb, as he has helped the Spaniard elevate his game. "He’s forced Novak to give more, and he’s better because of it, and then Novak has helped Rafa get better because he doesn’t want Novak to go by him, and that helped Roger, so this was a beautiful thing to watch for the last 10, 15 years," told the American to Eurosport.

"It looks like every point he plays is the last point he will ever play. I try to teach that to my kids at my academy every day: if you go out and do that, good things will happen, and he’s the greatest example ever."

Rafael Nadal