In this anomalous season, Rafael Nadal proved once more what he's made of. Despite the disappointment at the quarter-final elimination of the Internationals of Italy at the hands of Diego Schwartzman, he never made any excuses and resumed work with even greater intensity.
The efforts paid off with the tenth triumph at Roland Garros. 67-year-old French journalist Nelson Monfort talked very highly of Rafael Nadal's charitable nature. Monfort recalled how Nadal had once brought a smile to the face of a sick child, that too with no media presence.
Monfort on Rafael Nadal's attitude
“I know that records are meant to be broken but well this one I don't think that this will come close to beating,” Nelson Monfort said. “Rafael Nadal gave away his bags to a sick child, while no camera were there to film anything,” Monfort added.
Nelson Monfort continued in his praise of Nadal, claiming that the Mallorcan was the most charitable athlete he had come across during his career. "Every time I've asked him for charity actions, he said yes,” Monfort said.
“There are not 50 athletes to whom I can ask that, and above all, who answer within 5 minutes. I said it well, within 5 minutes." Over the years, Nadal would endure many more injuries—his knees, wrists, feet, back, hamstrings and other body parts all sidelined him for spells—fueling his doubters, who insisted that he’d never have a long career with his brutally physical style of play.
Perhaps no other champion of his calibre has faced and ultimately silenced as many naysayers as Rafael Nadal has. Rafael Nadal Parera’s road to 1,000 wins officially started at age 15 with a first-round win at the Mallorca Open over Ramon Delgado, a Paraguayan then ranked No.
81 in the world. His triumph netted him 15 FedEx ATP Rankings points and a cheque for $5,850. It was a good start and he was determined to turn pro, though his mother still wanted him to go to university. The matter was settled when he (supposedly) accidentally left his schoolbooks on a plane one day and decided his school days were over.
$122 million in prize money and much more in endorsements later and no one has ever questioned the decision. When Nadal was plagued with injuries in 2012 and again from 2014-2017, many we-told-you-so types smugly observed that his savage style of play was catching up to him and precluded the possibility of a long career.
Some Nadal sceptics were already writing his tennis epitaph as early as 2015, when he made early exits at Wimbledon and the US Open.