Rafael Nadal: ‘I just have to keep working hard every day’

In the Buenos Aires quarterfinals in 2005, Gaston Gaudio defeated Rafael Nadal in three sets, 0-6, 6-0, 6-1. The Spaniard was 18 years old and four months later, he would win his first Grand Slam title at the French Open. After the loss against the Argentine, the native of Manacor was very nervous and when he returned to the locker room he broke all his rackets. “What’s wrong with this guy, is he crazy?” mused Gaudio, who now admitted that he had won against an incredible player, one of the guys who is born once every 100 years. “He broke all his rackets, all seven of them. I thought he was crazy. He didn’t lose to anyone. He was playing well on clay and had won the French Open (in 2004), but Rafa saw the loss as a failure, he couldn’t handle it”. On Djokovic’s chances of finishing the year as world No. 1, ahead of Rafael Nadal, Goran Ivanisevic said: “He recovered well in the last two weeks. To remain No. 1, Djokovic should basically win everything until he finishes the season, because he needs to defend the points from last year. Nadal, on the other hand, has nothing to lose. For Djokovic it will be difficult but not impossible. His other trainer, Marian Vajda, is with him in Tokyo and Shanghai. I couldn’t go because I’m committed to the Legends Cup. I’ll be with him in Paris and at the ATP Finals in London “Ivanisevic’s compatriot Ivo Karlovic hit over 13,000 aces in his career.” Ivan Ljubicic, Marin Cilic, Mario Ancic, don’t forget them. I don’t know why he involves so many players. Maybe because we were all tall. Also, we have a simple move.”

Nadal had to withdraw from Wimbledon

Rafael Nadal turned pro in the year 2001 with his mind already in the league of the legendary players. The 16-year-old entered the ATP with strong will power and a well-crafted list of ambitions. As he said, “Well, I guess it would be to go as far as I can, to become a great tennis player. I just have to keep working hard every day. I know it won’t be easy.” Thereafter, he added, “There’s so much high-level competition out there. Normally, when I play in tournaments because I’m younger than everyone else, I always think they must be much better than me. But then you get on the court and because I’m a fighter and I really hate losing, things tend to level out.” The Spanish young blood staying true to his claims bagged his first ever Grand Slam trophy within four years of his debut.