Simona Halep is a little Rafael Nadal, says coach Darren Cahill


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Simona Halep is a little Rafael Nadal, says coach Darren Cahill

Simona Halep's coach Darren Cahill believes that the world No. 1 is learning a lot from the Spaniard Rafael Nadal, in terms of fighting spirit and mental toughness. Speaking to reporters on Tuesday during a press conference in Cincinnati, Cahill said: 'To be honest, we use Rafa a lot, some of the struggles that he's had, the Aussie Open final when he injured himself against (Stan) Wawrinka.

I use YouTube videos. I use matches that she's played. Video technology now is much better than it used to be. Hawk-Eye information is incredible. The access that we have as coaches to help improve our players is nonstop. So we have all this information.

I think the trick is finding that small bit of information that we can deliver to our player that's going to have an immediate impact. Because if we go in there and give them two hours of information, I have lost it. I don't expect my player to retain it.

Finding what is relevant, finding what's going to make an impact, and then delivering that information in a way that inspires your player. Rafa has inspired her with what he's been able to do it, with the way he trains, with his work ethic, the way he fights for every single match no matter what the score is.

He can be down 6-Love, 5-Love, 40-Love. You wouldn't even be able to tell with him. That, to me, is what she's modeled the last year and a half on. No one's going to be like Rafa. But you see a little bit of the old Simona compared to the new Simona, and she's more like that, because she's always had a great work ethic.

I have never had to push her on the practice court. She always gives 100%. She's like a little Rafa on the practice court. We need to make her a little Rafa on the match court, as well. It's nice that her two victories, the one she had in Paris and the one she had last week, both coincided -- we spoke about this after the match -- coincided with Nadal doing exactly the same.

It's been pretty cool, actually.' Halep said she knew she wouldn't be No. 1 or have a Grand Slam if Cahill had not been there. Commenting on this quote, the Australian stated: 'She said that? Oh, can I get a tape of that (smiling)? She was already a great player before I started.

I think she was ranked 4 or 5 when I came on board about three-and-a-half years ago at Indian Wells and I worked as a consultant with her team for the next nine months and then full time for the last three years. It's hard to say, because when you are so good, you need a lot of weapons, and you need a lot to go right to win a Grand Slam, as well.

It's not easy -- I think it's incredibly difficult to, more difficult to be the No. 1 player in the world, because you need to play incredible tennis over the course of 12 months. To win a Grand Slam, sometimes you just need to get hot for a couple of weeks.

Not easy to do either, but becoming the No. 1 player last year I think gave her the confidence and belief to know that she's capable of making it happen. And since then -- some players, when they become No. 1, they are a little bit intimidated by the responsibility, the fact that you're at the top of the tree and everybody is chasing you, the fact that every time you step onto the court you're a target.

And that's not easy psychologically for a lot of players to handle. I think she's handled it beautifully.' ALSO READ: Rafael Nadal could make important changes to his long-term schedule