TENNIS

Rafael Nadal: The beginning of an Era

Nadal, Six Sports

Tennis legend, Rafael Nadal played his first grand slam tournament, Wimbledon in 2003. He was just 16 years old when he made his professional debut.

Two years later in 2005, Nadal won his first ATP title on clay. The king of clay transformed himself well for the hard court and reached the Miami Open as the second youngest player to do so.

Another legend Roger Federer defeated young Nadal after a fantastic battle that lasted for five sets. Later it took a few more tournaments for Nadal to finally bounce back on his favorite court of clay to add a few more trophies in his cabinet. He lifted the titles like Montecarlo, Barcelona, and Rome before finally winning his first grand slam title – Roland Garros.

Rafael entered his career-high ranking in the 3rd spot. He later won a few more titles on the clay surface but the performance level on the grass court wasn’t up to the required level. He suffered early exits from the Halle Open and Wimbledon.

There was a point when Nadal became the top-seeded in the absence of Federer. He did this in Montreal Open when he was just 19 years old. He defeated all the opponents he faced in the tournament easily. But eventually suffered a defeat in the Quarter-final in straight sets.

Rafael Nadal is all set to play in US Open

Rafael Nadal spoke about mental health and how it influences players performance during a match. He emphasized on maintaining a good mind is equally important for a player before the match. Mental fitness and Physical fitness have to be taken care of equally.

Nadal also said in an interview,

“All elite sports are complicated and tennis especially being a one-on-one sport. The match is against an opponent who is sometimes better than you, or who is in better shape that day even if it is worse in theory. But the fight is also against oneself and that is a section that sometimes costs a lot. We have seen it in many cases. It is there, though not only, that mental work is especially important.”

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