Young Spanish star: 'Rafael Nadal is a mental beast. You can learn a lot from him'

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Young Spanish star: 'Rafael Nadal is a mental beast. You can learn a lot from him'

The 21-year-old Alejandro Davidovich Fokina will finish the season just outside the top-50, gaining almost 50 places on the list since the season restart. In his recent interview, Davidovich Fokina praised the Spanish legend Rafael Nadal, calling him a mental beast and someone you can learn a lot from.

After almost 20 years on the Tour, Nadal still plays with the same desire as ever, chasing the big titles and always giving 100% on the court. Rafa will finish the season inside the top-2 for the record-breaking 12th time after lifting a Major title for the 14th time in the past 16 years!

Entering the season as world no. 1, Rafa lost the ATP throne following defeats at the ATP Cup to Novak Djokovic and the Australian Open to Dominic Thiem. The Spaniard bounced back in Acapulco with his 85th ATP title, just before the coronavirus pandemic that forced him to spend the next six months at home in Mallorca.

Training on clay, Rafa decided to skip Cincinnati and the US Open in New York, preparing his comeback for the Masters 1000 event in Rome. The Spaniard failed to defend the title, losing to Diego Schwartzman in the quarter-final and heading to Roland Garros with three matches in his legs since March.

The Parisian tournament was the last chance for Rafa to secure a Major trophy this year, facing the most unusual conditions in the French capital and hoping to find his best tennis.

Alejandro Davidovich Fokina praised Rafael Nadal.

Despite cold and rainy weather, the new Wilson balls and a roof above Court Philippe-Chatrier, Nadal was ready to face all the challenges, securing the 13th Roland Garros crown without losing a set and matching Roger Federer's record of 20 Major titles.

In the final, Nadal defeated world no. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-0, 6-2, 7-5, losing serve once and delivering seven breaks to write history books. By the end of the season, Rafa returned to Paris for the Masters 1000 event that he has never won, suffering the semi-final loss to Alexander Zverev and entering the ATP Finals.

Nadal served for the victory against Daniil Medvedev in London, only to suffer a 3-6, 7-6, 6-3 defeat and finish the campaign with the semi-final run. Nadal will be back on the practice court soon, having a couple of weeks to prepare for the Australian Open, which takes place in February next year.

"Rafael Nadal is a mental beast. You can learn a lot from him by watching how he manages his matches," Alejandro Davidovich Fokina said.