Press Release (ePRNews.com) - PARIS, France - Jun 13, 2017 - Nadal News:
Following his record breaking feats at Roland Garros, Nadal revealed some insightful comments regarding his approach to not just tennis but life.
“Very organised people, very proactive people, know exactly what they’re going to do next”, he said.
Is happiness the key?
“I do things as they come. Right now, I don’t really know. I’m just going to keep on playing as long as it makes me happy. If one day I get up in the morning and I’m no longer motivated to go train, well, I guess that day I will put an end to my career. You know what? I’m not worried. I’m a happy person.”
These sound like prophetic words from a person who is very happy in his own skin. He appears to be under no pressure. He sounds content and grateful for all that the sport has provided him. Anything more from this point is a bonus.
This philosophy has seen him play with a freedom that is simply refreshing to watch.
It is hard not to draw a similar comparison with his oldest rival and fellow septuagenarian tennis great, Roger Federer.
After the longest break due to injury in his career, Federer wound back the clock in January to claim his 18th Grand Slam title in winning the Australian Open.
What a comeback
Recall that in January it was Nadal that Federer defeated in an epic final.
At the time Federer was ranked 17and Nadal 9. Despite being amongst the oldest in the draw the pair set up their first Grand Slam final meeting since the 2011 French Open final.
2017 was a rematch of their 2009 Australian Open final which Nadal won in a classic 5 set battle.
This time Federer prevailed in another 5 set classic, the first time he’d beaten Nadal in a Grand Slam match since the 2007 Wimbledon final, thus ending a 6 match Grand Slam losing streak.
The similarities between Nadal and Federer in 2017 are striking. Both have constructed records to place themselves amongst the all time greats of the game.
Both have endured extended and debilitating injury breaks in recent years and both are now in arguably the best form of their lives, having split the first two grand slams of the year.
While there are many factors contributing to their most recent purple patches it is worth noting the similarities in philosophy.
Nadal has endured more injury than most in his inspiring career. His love for the game and all of its demands has been tested. It’s like he expects the injuries to return.
A painful history
It was 2005 that Nadal won the first of his 10 French Open championships. It was also the year that the structural weakness was diagnosed in his feet and knees, the same weakness that has plagued him to some extend ever since.
The condition has flared in 2006, 2009, 2012 and 2014.
2013 was yet another comeback year after 8 months off after rupturing his patellar tendons. He went on to claim 2 Grand Slams and 10 titles that year.
Where is his ego?
His lack of ego is perhaps the easiest quality to admire about Nadal.
“I have been very honest with you all the time,” he said. “I have doubts every day. If you have no doubts, probably [it] is because you are too arrogant. I don’t consider myself arrogant.”
This lack of hubris is possibly his biggest weapon. You cannot learn anything if you already know it all. His honest and unpretentious way reveals an athlete constantly striving to improve.
Perhaps unsurprisingly many are now touting him as a favourite to win Wimbledon. However Nadal is having none of it, telling Spanish reporters “Grass is not my speciality, but I’m very motivated.”
Can they turn it on again?
Nonetheless he reminded everyone of how dominant he can be in his demolition of Stanislav Wawrinka 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 in the French Open final.
It is nine years since Nadal won possibly the best Wimbledon final in grand slam tennis history.
In overpowering Federer’s elegant skills in five unbelievably intense sets in 2008 Nadal proved he was not just the king of dirt.
As the party heads to the grass courts of England we can only hope that the draw keeps Nadal and Federer apart until the last Sunday.
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