In an interview to ITF website, the former Germany captain Peter Pfannkoch recalled when Rafael Nadal was played against his team for Spain in the ITF World Junior Tennis Finals. Pfannkoch said: “Even at the age of 13, on and off court, Nadal lived for tennis.
I am always telling these young guys that Nadal, who competed at the tournament in 1999 and 2000, was practising as hard then as he is now. It was incredible to see. He used to go out and take the No. 2 and No. 3 in the team and work for two or three hours with a passion that I haven’t seen before or since.
Nadal was different to almost every other player at the tournament. His attitude was just different and was just like it is nowadays”. Pfannkoch also recalled how Andy Murray was: “On court, Andy had a lot of emotional ups and downs at this age but you could see he had a lot of talent.
His attitude used to rise and drop but, even with this, he was always competitive and always trying, which is something we still see today. In my opinion, he sometimes made life more difficult for himself than it needed to be, but you could see he was a fighter.
But all these players were a little different to each other at that age. From the technical point of view, Gasquet, for instance, was perfect and he had a fantastic game-plan”.