Former World No. 1 and multiple Grand Slam champion Lindsay Davenport says tennis is lucky that Rafael Nadal chose to play the sport and that he continues even at this age. Speaking to the Tennis Channel where Davenport is a regular commentator, the American says she is amazed by the Spaniard's motivation to continue playing after so many years and injuries.
“I dare anybody to say they have seen Rafael Nadal take a point off trying his hardest [or] a practise [off] trying his hardest. I just marvel at how he still has that motivation. Getting into his mid-thirties, he’s just as motivated now as he was in his teenage years.
Normally that is what takes players out of the game. They can’t call on that reserve energy to get through tough practises day in and day out. They lose their zest for going to tournaments and going through the grind of the tour.
But you see Rafa and you hear him [say] ‘I love this. I want to be here more than anywhere else in the world. When you watch him play, it is that motivation, that inner desire that seems deeper in him than most other players we have ever seen.
We are so lucky that he chose our sport and he’s still in our game”. Nadal has won 19 Grand Slams in his career, second to only Swiss Roger Federer, who has 20 Grand Slams. The Spaniard has won 12 French Open titles - the most by any tennis player in history.