Rafael Nadal is fairer now than he was in the past, says Platel

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Rafael Nadal is fairer now than he was in the past, says Platel

Guillermo Platel and Joan Balcells were the first Spanish players who respectively defeated Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer on the professional tour. Platel defeated Nadal in the first tournament he played after getting a wild card in the Futures tournament of Brezo de Osuna, near the Madrid airport.

It was the morning of 11 September 2001. Platel was world No. 731 and was 22 years old. The Mallorcan was not ranked. The Valladolid native prevailed in three sets, 2-6, 7-5 6-2. "He had 13 match points and for me, it was the first and only time in career that saved so many balls to win.

Rafa was 15 years old. I knew him because I had seen him playing some Satellites in Barcelona. They gave him a wild card because he had no points. I knew he was a promising kid. It was fast tennis. He served very flat, he did not have the same arm as now.

Nobody could think he would get to where he got. He was pumping up and looked at me. In the changeovers, because of frustration as I saw losing, I asked him: "Is there something happening?" And he replied: "To me not.

To you?" Now he is more correct. They coincided each other one last time in the 2003 El Espinar Challenger. Nadal, who won the tournament, warmed up with Platel. "It was the last time we saw each other."