'Rafael Nadal has made his country even more popular', says former ace



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'Rafael Nadal has made his country even more popular', says former ace

More than one was happy about Rafael Nadal's defeat in the second round of the 2023 Australian Open. And although the Spanish's departure clears the way for the upper part of the table, there is a group of Americans who showed their feelings for him.

great result obtained by Mackenzie McDonald. One of them was her compatriot Frances Tiafoe, who even spoke with McDonald in the preview to give her advice on how to face a commitment against Nadal in Grand Slams. “I am very happy for Mackey, victories against the GOAT team are never easy, now he will have something to tell his grandchildren and be happy for a while.

Selfishly, I would have loved to face Rafa here again, now I have the experience of having sold him in New York, a game that changed my life", commented Tiafoe, who was scheduled to meet the Spaniard in the round of 16. Frances wished her compatriot good luck, hoping to cross paths with him later in the tournament: "I hope Mackey moves on and we play round four together, it would be kind of a win for both of us." He also had words for the top Grand Slam winner: "Rafa has been thinking about the issue of injuries for a long time, I don't know where his body is today, but he is still an absolute legend." It should be noted that in the last edition of the US Open, the American defeated the Spaniard in four sets (6-4, 4-6, 6-4 and 6-3), in the most important victory of his career.

Do you think Frances Tiafoe could have beaten Nadal in Australia too?

Nadal's contribution to tennis knows no bounds

In a conversation with Eurosport, Becker reflected on the legacy that former World No. 1 Rafael Nadal has composed in the sport.

“He is not a tennis legend. He is a legend of the sport, he is one of the most important athletes of the last 25 years,” said the 55-year-old. "He has made his country even more popular, he can become president if he wants , but I think he will pick up a racket again,” Becker said.

“Will he play until he is 40 years old? I don't think so, yesterday [referring to Nadal's Australian Open loss against McDonald and his injury] is already a first step towards his retirement. An injury like this is tough and at this age it takes even longer to get back into shape," he asserted.