Jaume Munar: Rafael Nadal is more than a mentor, he is a friend


Jaume Munar: Rafael Nadal is more than a mentor, he is a friend
Jaume Munar: Rafael Nadal is more than a mentor, he is a friend

Spain's Jaume Munar was happy with his victory at the Lisbon Challenger but also gave credit and showed appreciation for the tournament organizers. Munar, seeded at No. 1, handed a straight-set defeat to Portuguese No. 2 seed Pedro Sousa 7-6 (3) 6-2 to win it all at the Lisbon Challenger.

"I'm happy with my title, but the real winners are the ones who make tennis tournaments possible in this tough times. Very grateful to be playing," Munar said after the final, per Jose Morgado. Munar, 23, said it's a "privilege" to be a friend of Rafael Nadal and revealed he spoke with the record 13-time French Open champion before the Lisbon Challenger final.

"It’s a privilege to be a friend of Rafa Nadal. I talked to him today before the final. More than a mentor, he is a friend. Spending time with him is very special," Munar added.

Munar's coach knows Nadal very well

"Rafa doesn’t like to make a lot of changes in his life/team.

It’s a cultural thing and that’s the way he thinks. He believes in who is with him," Tomeu Salva, Munar's coach and Nadal's close friend, said after the Lisbon final, per Jose Morgado. Meanwhile, top-ranked Italian Matteo Berrettini showed his respect for Fabio Fognini.

Berrettini, 24, is ranked at No. 9 in the world, while 33-year-old Fognini sits seven places below at No. 16 in the world. "He (Fognini) is having a great career. He won Monte Carlo, reached the top 10. He did a lot more than me, despite the ranking," Berrettini said on Sky Sport Italia, per Matteo Mosciatti.

Berrettini is hoping to have a strong end to the season and clinch a place at the Nitto ATP Finals. Berrettini debuted at the Nitto ATP Finals last year but failed to make it past the group stage. From 2021 onward, the ATP Finals will be held in Turin, Italy.

"ATP Finals? I promise that I will do everything to get there again this year. Torino? I hope to play the ATP Finals there too," Berrettini noted. "It would be a great satisfaction. Last year it was unexpected, crazy. This year it's worth trying: I hope to go back and arrive there more ready than in 2019." At the French Open, Berrettini suffered a shock third round loss against Daniel Altmaier.

"At Roland Garros I didn't play well. The conditions didn't help me, I felt drained from this strange season. Travel, bubbles, strange things: the energies are consumed. I have put that tournament behind me, let's look ahead," Berrettini said.

Jaume Munar Rafael Nadal