In recent years, the debate regarding the greatest ever has suddenly rekindled, especially after Rafael Nadal conquered his 13th Roland Garros equaling the 20 Grand Slam record of his eternal rival Roger Federer. At the same time, world number 1 Novak Djokovic is three majors from his two eternal rivals and has a concrete chance of breaking the all-time record of weeks at the top of the ATP ranking.
Regardless of individual personal opinions, there seems to be no doubt that Nadal and Federer will go down in history as the two most loved players of the modern era. The 34-year-old from Manacor is undoubtedly the most respected athlete ever to be seen in Spain, inducing many of his compatriots to inspire their careers to the exploits of the 20-time Grand Slam champion.
Recently, MotoGP rider and fresh world champion Joan Mir praised Nadal's personality both on and off the pitch, considering him a role model for any sportsman in all disciplines. During 2020, Nadal also broke the record of consecutive weeks spent in the Top 10, without forgetting the crazy milestone of the thousand games won on the ATP circuit.
Mir on his passion for Rafael Nadal
As per AS, Joan Mir admires Rafael Nadal not just for his incredible on-court skill, but also for his humble persona off the court. "I admire (Rafael) Nadal, because he is my countryman, but also because of the humility that he expresses and reaches people about him," Mir said.
"I think he has done very well and has a very good image. I like him a lot." Joan Mir has found himself at the top of the MotoGP rankings following a remarkable year, where he won one race and had seven other podium finishes.
Rafael Nadal is not, however, the only fellow Spaniard Mir is in awe of; the 23-year-old claimed that six-time NBA all star Pau Gasol is also someone he looks up to. "And I also like (Pau) Gasol a lot, because of his way of being.
I pay attention to the high-level athletes, because they are people who have more experience than me, and I want to learn from them," Mir said. With the number of injuries the Spaniard has gone through, very few imagined that Nadal would be able to sustain his career for so long.
The ‘King of Clay’ is still far from done. The credit for his success must be shared with his uncle, Toni Nadal. The manner in which he groomed his nephew to be the player that he is today is phenomenal. In 2020, a year that has not been the greatest for many, the Spanish sensation has done wonders for himself.
Winning the French Open for a record 13th time is unthinkable. Nadal even holds the record for being in the ‘top 10’ for the most consecutive number of weeks.