Rafael Nadal: ‘I learned to internalize that anger’

Kei Nishikori has been on the main stage of the tennis world since 2014 and became one of the best tennis players in the history of Japan, while spending many months in the top 5, but throughout this successful adventure, Kei has identified some moments. unforgettable, among which is also his victory against Rafael Nadal at the Rio Olympics. In 2014, Nishikori beat big names like Stan Wawrinka, Milos Raonic and Novak Djokovic on his way to the US Open final, where he was edged out by his much taller rival Marin Cilic. However, none of those matches deserved the title of “the most memorable match”, as the Japanese clarified in a recent Uniqlo interview. “The third place match with Nadal. Of course, the medal was at stake. And that match against Nadal made it very memorable”, Nishikori said. At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Kei won the bronze medal after defeating Rafael Nadal 6–2, 6–7(1), 6–3. With that achievement, Nishikori became the first Japanese man to win an Olympic tennis medal since Ichiya Kumagae at the 1920 Olympics. In addition to denying Rafael Nadal a medal at the 2016 Olympics, making the transition from Japan to the United States in 2004 and winning the 2006 Junior French Open doubles title were other important moments that helped define him as the all-around player he is today. “The first time I went to the United States when I was 13 years old was a big step for me. And winning a big tournament at 17 was also a turning point, “concluded Shimane’s.

Rafa was going strong in the Wimbledon Championships

In his book, Rafael Nadal: My Story, the 22-time Grand Slam champion, talked about how his uncle coached him during his youth days. He said, “So there was fun and magic in my relationship with Toni, even if the prevailing mood when we trained was stony and severe. And we had plenty of success. If he hadn’t made me play without water that day, if he hadn’t singled me out for especially harsh treatment when I was in that group of little kids learning the game, if I hadn’t as I did at the injustice and abuse he heaped on me, maybe I would not be the player I am today.” Further, opening up about his rage, Nadal said, “Often I’d struggle to contain my rage. “Why is it me and not the other boys who have to sweep the court after training?” I’d ask myself. “Why do I have to pick up more balls than the others? Why does he scream at me that way when I hit the ball out?” But I learned to internalize that anger too, not to fret at the injustice, to accept it and get on with it.”