Despite the fact that his career has led him to travel almost all over the world, Rafael Nadal has always maintained a close link with his homeland. During off-season periods, the former World number 1 loves to take refuge in his Manacor, where he also inaugurated a prestigious Academy supervised by his uncle and former coach Toni.
In a special episode of ‘Tennis Legends’ on Eurosport, his current coach Carlos Moya revealed to Justine Henin and Mats Wilander the importance of origins (Rafa comes from a sports family) in the growth of the 19-time Grand Slam champion.
Moya: ‘I would say Rafael Nadal never gives up’
“I think you are born like that,” Carlos Moya said. “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 in 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,” Moya added. “So that’s something that we, I mean, it’s amazing.
Nobody could expect 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. Like I said, his background is very good. 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, Rafael Nadal is like that. But then once he steps on the court, he becomes a beast,” Moya explained. “You know, he’s more than a hundred percent.
I would say he never gives up. He’s always fighting. I think even if he loses, you know – as a coach, or Carlos as an agent – that he’s going to give his best. So going on to the court with that attitude and mindset, I think it’s something that you cannot have in many players.
So I guess the island and the nature of the island has something to do with it” – he concluded. Nadal won the U.S. Open in 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic put the brakes on that ascent for the time being, but clearly his crawl back up the rankings means big things are in store.
Yet, if his career ended today, it would already put him forth as one of the best tennis players in history. His latest Open win happens to be his fourth. He also won the French Open a record 12 times across 20 years. He had a 10 victory streak at international majors between 2005 and 2014, another all-time record. Only an injury that shut him down from 2014 through 2015 could slow him.