What makes Rafael Nadal so special? His coach Carlos Moya answered this question in an interview to Il Giornale. "Being normal: a great person before being a great champion. He always fights, he accepts the wins and losses too.
He is unique", said Moya. The 42-year-old thinks that changing the gamestyle, turning more offensive, was the key: "He is not 20 years old anymore, he cannot run from a side to the other on court. We asked him to be a little more aggressive and shorten the rallies' lenghty.
His experience and knowledge of the game played a role." About the future of tennis, Moya added: "Rafa said he likes Shapovalov a lot and I agree with him: he is a great talent and has a huge personality. Meanwhile we have the Nadal Academy in Manacor, we hope to create future players.
One like Jaume Munar, who is with us and beat David Ferrer at the French Open." Could there be a new Nadal? "That's impossible. But there will be players with the same values as Rafa, that's for sure. And he will still go far.
He is a modern player and if he stays injury-free we will enjoy him playing for a long time." About his own career as a player, Moya concluded: "I had a fantastic career and life. Regrets? If one thought about what he did not win instead of what he won, would get really crazy."
Nadal will open his run in Indian Wells against Jared Donaldson. The Spaniard already beat the American in 2017 Shanghai.