'I really enjoyed feeling the quality of Rafael Nadal's ball', says ATP player

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'I really enjoyed feeling the quality of Rafael Nadal's ball', says ATP player

Rafael Nadal, 34 years old and number 2 in the ATP ranking behind Djokovic, acknowledged that conditions in Adelaide are "better than those of most players in Melbourne. Although in Melbourne some have larger rooms, in which they can practice activities.

physical, while others are in smaller rooms, without even the possibility of contact with a coach or physical trainer. Where is the line? It is an ethical question - said the Majorcan -, everyone has their own opinion and all are to be respected " In total, 72 players are banned from leaving their rooms for two weeks, after cases of Covid-19 emerged in the flights that took them to Australia.

Other tennis players are allowed to go out five hours a day to train, provided they do not test positive and do not come into contact with positive people. Rafael Nadal has often been described as a warrior on the court. Taro Daniel has a first hand-experience of that latter quality.

During their second round encounter at the US Open in 2017, Daniel came out firing to win the first set 6-4, before the Spaniard came roaring back to win in four sets.

Daniel on his match with Rafael Nadal

"I hit so many winners that night it was a strange feeling for me.

I never swung so freely in a match before. I also felt that in order to beat Rafael Nadal, you have to play perfect for 3-4 hours straight," Taro Daniel said in a recent interview. Reflecting on that win over the 17-time Major champion Novak Djokovic, Daniel claimed the victory was special even though he was aware that the Serb was not at his best on the day.

"It was a great moment where I know I did something special for my career," Daniel said. "I remember being happy but also, I knew that he was not nearly at his best. I was able to take advantage of that."

The Japanese player also believes that the two legends have an aura around them that is rare to find among the players on the tour. "They (Novak Djokovic & Rafael Nadal) have a special quality to their ball," Daniel said.

"They also have a presence that not many other players have. I really enjoyed feeling the speed and the quality of their ball. Especially Djokovic's backhand down the line really stretches like crazy." Djokovic, Nadal, and Dominic Thiem are quarantining in the Adelaide bubble away from Melbourne.

While they have a bit of an advantage over other players there, the 33-year-old Serbian tried to land a hand. However, it is not Djokovic’s intention but the way of conducting the negotiations that didn’t go well with Nadal.

“Some need to make public all these things they do for others,” Rafa said. “Some of us do it in a more private way without having to publicise everything”.