A Rafa Nadal Academy's player writes history: what happened

Abdullah Shelbayh, young tennis player from Jordan won his first trophy as a professional tennis player at the ATP Challenger in Charleston

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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A Rafa Nadal Academy's player writes history: what happened
© Clive Brunskill / Staff Getty Images Sport

A great success, involving the Rafa Nadal Academy and one of its players, Abdullah Shelbayh. The young tennis player from Jordan won his first trophy as a professional tennis player at the ATP Challenger in Charleston. Shelbayh beat American Oliver Crawford 6-2, 6-7, 6-3 to win the LTP Challenger singles title.

Shelbayh became the first Jordanian player and the youngest player from an Arab country to win a title on the Challenger Tour.

When he arrived at the Rafa Nadal Academy, the young man explained the reasons for his choice: "I know it was not an easy thing for me, but it was the best decision since tennis, as I said, it is not a big sport in Jordan.

If I would have stayed there, I wouldn't have been where I am right now. Yeah, I went there at the age of 14, so it was not easy to leave my family behind at such a young age. So it took me some time to kind of settle in, and, I mean, I needed to be mature, took some time, and that helped me become more mature and helped me kind of perform better on court later on."

Rafael Nadal: "Considering the titles won, Novak Djokovic is the best"

Rafael Nadal came back to talking, and he did so in an interview with Movistar Plus, speaking among other things of his rival Novak Djokovic.

The Spaniard explained: "Can you be frustrated with 22 Slams? In my opinion Novak Djokovic has always experienced this race for the record more intensely. I think it would have been frustrating for him if he hadn't managed to have the record and perhaps that's why that he did it.

He took ambition to the max. I was ambitious, but seeing things in perspective."

In a subsequent interview with the newspaper AS, Nadal tried to clarify his position: "I believe that numbers are numbers and statistics are statistics, and in this sense I think he has better numbers than me and this is indisputable.

I think that as far as titles are concerned, Djokovic is the best in history and there is nothing to discuss about this. I congratulate Novak for everything he is achieving and this does not cause me any kind of frustration.

I said it when I was the one who won the most Slams, I said it when we were tied and I say it now that I'm behind. I will not be what he tries, through a personal struggle, to want to be what I am not. I think 2024 will be my last year, but at the same time I don't know.

If things were going to work out and I were to feel competitive, why would I limit myself? I can't say 100%."

Rafa Nadal Atp Challenger
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