Former ATP player Emilio Sanchez provided his insights into why Rafael Nadal is a great tennis champion in a recent interview with Paul Annacone on the Tennis Channel. Emilio Sanchez has worked with Rafael Nadal very closely, having been the captain of the Spanish Davis Cup team in the past.
He led the Spanish team, which included Nadal, to the Davis Cup title in 2008. "Rafa is like the ultimate fighter. He forgets about what happened the previous ball and goes for the next ball. Rafa is an incredible hunter. And on top of that he is so humble about what he does.
The Davis Cup win in 2008 was incredible. Particularly the win in the semifinal against the US in front of 25000 people when Rafa beat Andy Roddick."
Emilio Sanchez says Rafael Nadal is the ultimate fighter
Sanchez says one of the other big reasons for Nadal's incredible success is that he does not allow other players to impose themselves on him.
"Rafa doesn't give a chance to the other player to play to his strengths. He doesn't allow the other player to get on top of him. He knows that if he relaxes a bit, the other player is going to come in. Rafa takes away what the other player does well.
He won't give a chance to the other player." Emilio Sánchez won three Grand Slam doubles titles and the men's doubles silver medal at the 1988 Olympic Games. He also teamed up with sister Arantxa Sanchez Vicario to win the 1990 Hopman Cup.
Since retiring, he has captained his country to Davis Cup success in 2008. Rafael Nadal is ranked No. 2 in the world rankings. He has won 19 Grand Slam singles titles in his career - the second most by any tennis player in men's tennis history behind Roger Federer, who has 20 Grand Slam titles.
He has also won a record 12 French Open titles in his career so far. Nadal is considered by many to be among the greatest players of all time in the history of the sport. Nadal will be one aiming to win a record 13th French Open title in September if the tournament goes ahead.
Besides his achievements on the court, Nadal also has his own foundation and his academy in Spain where several youngsters train.