Casper Ruud expressed all his admiration for the Rafael Nadal during the Italian Open 2022. Nadal had a fabulous start to the season, in which he proved for the umpteenth time that he is an absolute legend of modern sport.
The Spanish champion won the Australian Open against all odds, taking away the whim of coming back two sets behind Daniil Medvedev in the final. Winning his second career title at Melbourne Park, the former world number 1 hoisted himself to 21 Majors by overtaking Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in the all-time rankings.
The 35-year-old from Manacor has also become the fourth man in history to have won all Grand Slams at least twice (along with Djokovic, Rod Laver and Roy Emerson). The fracture in the rib remedied during the Indian Wells 1000 complicated Rafa's plans, forcing him to miss the first tournaments on red (Monte Carlo and Barcelona).
The Iberian was unable to go beyond the quarterfinals in Madrid and the round of 16 in Rome, also having to deal with a flare-up of the foot problem.
Casper Ruud praises Rafael Nadal
Ruud explained: "Whenever I have the opportunity to train with Rafael Nadal, I try to learn something new.
Rafa is a great example both on and off the pitch. He knows how to behave and embodies the right values. I got to know him a little more in recent years and I was surprised by his humility. We are talking about an athlete who has won everything there is to win, but who always plays as if it were the first time.
It is not easy to maintain that level of motivation and intensity for so many years." After the defeat to Denis Shapovalov, Nadal expressed some concern: "I'm not injured. I am a player living with an injury, that's all.
My day is difficult, honestly. Sometimes it's hard for me to accept this situation." Rafa should anyway come back for the Roland Garros 2022, which will start on Sunday 29 May 2022.