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‘Rafael Nadal is a beast, but it’s a surprise he ever won WImbledon,’ says coach Carlos Moya

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Carlos Moya says Rafael Nadal is a ‘beast’ of a player, but he considers it a surprise that the Spaniard ever won Wimbledon.

 

 
Moya, a former world number one in his own right, has coached Nadal for several years now, and shares heritage with him as they are both from the same Spanish Island of Mallorca.

Traditionally, Spanish players have shone on clay and struggled on grass, and Moya says that the fact Nadal has a Wimbledon title to his name can only be put down to his famed fierce competitiveness.

Rafael Nadal

What, though, does Moya attribute that to in his player?

“I think you are born like that,” Moya said on Eurosport’s Tennis Legends podcast.

“I mean, you can learn a lot of things for sure. He learned that and improved in many ways, but you have to have it.

“Also his background is very good, he has a family that was to professional sport before, so for sure that helps.

“I mean, if you can teach that, we will have many Rafas and we don’t have that at all.

Rafael Nadal

“It’s amazing that a guy from Mallorca to win 19 Grand Slams, 12 French Opens. For me it was a big surprise that he won Wimbledon as well.

“But I think for sure you improve things but you are born like that and I have no doubt about that.”

Asked about the apparent contradictions between Nadal the player and Nadal the person, Moya suggested his home had much to do with it.

Rafael Nadal

“Mallorca is a calm island. We are called the ‘calm guys from the island’ and with the atmosphere we have here we take things very easy – you know, we are pretty relaxed, we like to chill. You know, I think in that sense, Rafa is like that.

“But then once he steps on the court, he becomes a beast. You know, he’s more than a hundred percent – I would say he never gives up. He’s always fighting.

Rafael Nadal

“I think even if he loses, you know – as a coach, or Carlos as an agent – that he’s going to give his best.”

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“Good Person”: Rafael Nadal Opens up on His Relationship With Rival Novak Djokovic

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Many tennis fans wonder how Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic get along outside the tennis court. Their conduct towards each other on the tennis court is always respectful, and that translates outside the court as well, as admitted by Nadal. The Spaniard spoke about his relationship with Djokovic, whom he called a good person.

“I have a good relationship with him. Is a good person. We must relativize things between us,”  Nadal said, in a recent interview, throwing light on his camaraderie with Djokovic.

There was also speculation among fans as to what Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic spoke about at the end of their French Open 2020 final. Interestingly, it was one of the most one-sided battles they have played over the years. However, Nadal said that Djokovic, with whom he shares a strong relationship, simply congratulated him and nothing more.

Rafael Nadal understands why Novak Djokovic did not say much

I could not talk to him. He congratulated me on the track and that’s it. It is normal,” Nadal said. He said he understands that Djokovic was not in a mood to talk, as no one usually is, after a heartbreaking loss.

When you lose a game like that, you don’t really want to talk. I understand it,” Nadal added.

Nadal avenged his one-sided loss in the 2019 Australian Open final against Djokovic. The two men also shared a respectful exchange during the trophy ceremony post their match. Nadal lauded Djokovic and said he hopes to keep facing him, further adding to their already great rivalry.

What you’re doing in tennis is very very special. Hope to keep facing you [Djokovic] on the court for the next couple of years,” Nadal said to Djokovic.

The mutual respect between the two stars

Despite not having a conversation with Nadal after the match, Djokovic spoke highly of Nadal in his post-match presser. Djokovic highlighted why Nadal is a great champion. He also admitted that it was one of those days where Nadal was simply the better player and there was not much he could do to tame the ‘King of Clay’.

I was also thinking that these conditions are more favorable to me. I was feeling great throughout the tournament playing. […] But, yeah, I mean, Rafa has proven everybody wrong. That’s why he’s a great champion. He just played a fantastic match today,” he said.

The two champions are expected to resume their rivalry at the ATP Finals next month. While they will not face each other in the Round Robin stage, the anticipation of another Nadal-Djokovic final is already running high.

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