Rafael Nadal: ‘I have more control on both hands than…’

Rafael Nadal’s coach Carlos Moya recalled when he first met the Spanish player. Moya said: “He was playing a Masters 1000 in Stuttgart and he was playing another event. A Nike agent introduced me to it. I had already heard a lot about him because he was among the best players in the world with Richard Gasquet. They asked me if I could hit him for 15 or 20 minutes. He is also the nephew of soccer player Miguel Ángel.” On how Nadal’s team is formed, Moya added: “We are two coaches, the physical trainer, the physiotherapist, the agent, the PR, the medical team. The whole family. Each one brings little things that come together. We are a great team but that needs a good player. Sometimes we have an opinion, sometimes we have others, but in the end it depends on the player. He takes what he thinks is necessary. We have fun, we suffer. Rafa is very humble, which makes everything easier. He has been my friend since he was 14 or 15 years old and I know all the people around him.” Moya also revealed that he shares a WhatsApp group with the team: “We try not to put crazy things, especially during tournaments, not too many things about tennis We organize training sessions.” On Nadal’s recovery from the US Open final, Moya concluded: “He was very tired. I had to help him put his leg in his jeans. You only see the bright side, but he was really destroyed. It has been many days of pressure and there are to rest a bit and recharge the batteries.”

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In his book, Rafael Nadal: My Story, Nadal has detailed why he chose the left hand over the right hand in tennis. He said, “I’ve seen reports in the news media saying that Toni forced me to play left-handed, and that he did this because it would make me harder to play against. Well, it’s not true. It’s a story the newspapers have made up. The truth is that I began playing when I was very small, and because I wasn’t strong enough to hit the ball over the net, I’d hold the racquet with both hands, on the forehand as well as the backhand.” On gaining an advantage while playing left-handed, Nadal said, “People say this gives me an advantage on the double-handed backhand, and that may be right. Having more feeling, more control on both hands than the majority of players has to work in my favor, especially on cross-court shots, where a little extra strength helps.”