Rafael Nadal: ‘There are no professional players who play with…’

In an interview with GQ, Diego Schwartzman recalled his 2018 French Open quarterfinal loss to Rafael Nadal. The Argentine player was leading by a set and a break, then a rain delay changed everything. “When I headed to the court, I headed to be competitive, but you know it’s Rafael Nadal at the French Open and I knew it. That’s why when I saw that he was leading, I saw the opportunity to compete and he was very committed in the game and I thought I could win. The rain came and the intensity diminished. It’s hard to explain, but during those 20 minutes I started to think more and Rafael came back. I learned from that game,” Schwartzman said. What kind of factor does rain play in tennis? “You need luck. What you do on and off the pitch cannot be replaced by luck. It only comes from working. You don’t win or lose by luck. That’s very clear.” On how his working relationship with his coach Juan Ignacio Chela began, Schwartzman concluded: “I had ended my relationship with coach Sebastián Prieto, who now trains Juan Martín del Potro, after almost five years and I began to reflect on the next step. I learned a lot from him and I knew that it was difficult to replace him, so I had to start having confidence and hired Juan Ignacio, since I trusted his talent and work ethic. I have been with this team for three years and I know I was very lucky to meet people like them.”

Rafa will play at the Canadian Open

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.” Further, he added, “Then one day my uncle said, “There are no professional players who play with two hands and we’re not going to be the first ones, so you’ve got to change.” So I did, and what came naturally to me was to play left-handed. Why, I can’t tell. Because I write with my right hand, and when I play basketball or golf-or darts-I play right-handed too. But in football I play with my left; my left foot is much stronger than my right.”