'Rafael Nadal toys with you like a cheetah', says former Top 5

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'Rafael Nadal toys with you like a cheetah', says former Top 5

Rafael Nadal was the greatest ruler of all time on red clay, not only for winning 12 Roland Garros. The Majorcan champion, which has only grossed two defeats in Paris, boasts the longest streak of victories on a single surface (81 on clay) and this year will try to match Roger Federer's record of 20 Grand Slam titles.

Henri Leconte is also among the many supporters of the Spaniard, who praised Nadal's desire to always improve despite a trophy-rich bulletin board. The former World number 1 has denied many of his detractors, convinced that his career would not last long.

The men's circuit will resume in mid-August from Washington, which will be the prelude to the Masters 1000 in Cincinnati and the US Open. Nadal will be called to defend 5360 points, having imposed himself in both New York and Paris last year.

We will see if the Iberian will play both tournaments or if he will opt to focus only on Roland Garros.

Leconte on Rafael Nadal

"When you think about it, 12 Roland Garros in 15 years (whistles). You don't think it would be possible.

If someone told you that, you'd say, 'You're crazy.' What's astonishing to me is how he evolved physically, how he changed his game, how he improved," Henri Leconte said. "I like to compare Rafael Nadal to an F1 racing team which is producing a new car every year, he is coming every year with a new way of playing and adapting.

He works on his serve, on his right hand, his left hand, and he's always changing some things. He's been able to improve every year which allowed him to win Roland Garros, this is amazing. And mentally, he's out of this world.

To play at his level at Roland Garros, under these circumstances, physically and mentally, I couldn't even play one set like that. On clay, and it's five sets - so three sets to win - you just started the match, it's 2-2.

You visited Roland Garros, the Bois de Boulogne, you ran everywhere, and it's only 2-2 and you've been playing for 25 minutes. You are thinking, 'I have three more sets like that.' This is where he is really strong.

He's like a cheetah, he's toying with you, and he decides to kill you, it's over. He's playing with you, 2-2, 3-3. We've seen many players going to 3-3, 4-4, they even get a set point, and suddenly, it's like a bottle of champagne exploding, and then they lose 6-1, 6-2. They implode, they can't take it physically" - he concluded.