Rafael Nadal was just 18 when he won his first ATP title. On Wednesday 3rd June he will turn 34. In the meantime, the Spaniard champion has set aside 85 tournaments won on the ATP circuit, including 19 Slam trophies, with a series of records that it seems almost impossible to have achieved by living together the same era of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.
Twelve Roland Garros wins and eleven Monte-Carlo titles make him the biggest ever on clay. In a recent interview with Blick, uncle Toni talked about many things. One of those things was Rafa’s game and character.
Uncle Toni on Rafael Nadal
“Rafael Nadal has a great drive, a very good backhand and, like no other, can place the ball well from difficult positions.
And then he has a good character too! Very beautiful. Because we have always worked on that too. Bad behavior leads to problems on the tennis court and in life. I would never have tolerated him throwing a racket. But Rafael is not necessarily humble" - Uncle Toni said.
“Rafael knows that he is an excellent tennis player. But he also knows that he doesn’t have to feel special about it. It is no different at Federer. Rafael was always smart enough to let adults with life experience guide him at the right moment.
That’s why fame or money never went to his head”. The United States Open, the next Grand Slam tournament on the schedule, is uncertain to be played but still set for Aug. 31 to Sept. 13 in New York, which has been hit particularly hard by the virus.
“Well, is not an ideal situation, honestly no,” said Nadal, who won his fourth U.S. Open singles title last year. “If you ask me today if I want to travel today to New York to play a tennis tournament, I will say no, I will not.
In a couple of months I don’t know how the situation is going to improve. Hopefully it’s going to improve the right way, and I’m sure the people who organize the event, the U.S.T.A., want a safe event, same like the French federation,” Nadal told tennis journalists on a Zoom call.
The record for the most Grand Slams will decide who ends up as the GOAT of tennis and Rafa is very close to beating it. He has 19 which is one short of Federer’s 20 and he will be looking to break this record once the ATP Tour returns from its suspension in August.