Rafael Nadal: Sebastian Korda has a lot ingredients to become a big star

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Rafael Nadal: Sebastian Korda has a lot ingredients to become a big star

World No. 2 Rafael Nadal hasn't dropped a set in each of his first three matches at the French Open but he's unsure if that's a good things since he's coming off a lonf break. On Friday, the record 12-time French Open champion Nadal dropped just five games en route to thrashing Italian Stefano Travaglia 6-1 6-4 6-0.

"We are in a very strange situation after a lot of months without playing much tennis, especially for me [given that] I didn’t playing in America,” Nadal said, per the ATP website. “So I don’t know if it is a positive thing or a negative thing [to win quickly].

I take it [as] a positive thing because I am playing quite well to win against a player like Stefano today”. Nadal claimed six breaks during the match and didn't face a single break point. "The score is because I did a lot of things well,” Nadal said.

“I played more aggressive than the previous days so I am very happy for that. I went to the net more often and I hit quite a lot of winners, my serve is working better. So let’s see. I need to keep going and hope to keep improving with every single day”.

Nadal praises Sebastian Korda

Nadal will fight against rising American star Korda for a place in the French Open quarterfinal. "He's playing great, he's young, he has energy. He has a lot of ingredients to become a big star of this sport, no? Let's see.

Going to be a tough one. I need to be ready for a good battle," Nadal said, per Ravi Ubha. After clinching the round-of-16 berth, Korda had only one wish. "I'm praying that [Rafa] wins,” Korda said before the Spaniard had completed his 6-1, 6-4, 6-0 win over Italian Stefano Travaglia.

“I mean, he's my biggest idol. He's one of the reasons I play tennis. Just watching him play, [he is an] unbelievable competitor. Just from him I have the never-give-up mentality. Whenever I'm on court, I try to be like him.

Growing up, I named my cat Rafa after him. That says a lot about how much I love the guy”. After beating Travaglia, reporters mentioned Korda's comments to Nadal. "That means I've been on TV for such a long time," Nadal said when told that he's Korda's idol and the American had a cat named Rafa.