Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal on Thursday progressed to the third round of the ongoing Australian Open. The world number one Nadal went past Federico of Argentina in straight sets.
He defeated Federico 6-3, 7-6, 6-1 to march into the third round. The 33-year-old did not give his opponent any chance in the first set and dropped just three games to take the momentum in his corner.
Beyond them, the twenty-time Grand Slam title Rafael Nadal, the tennis player who in 2020 reached Roger Federer, and who now has the possibility even to overcome him.
However, Rafa’s start of the season was not the best, and he was only forced to attend without participating in 2021 the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Cup, which stopped due to some back problems.
He has won over 60 matches in a season, hitting his top number in 2008 with 82 wins. Since failing to win a major in 2015 and 2016, he roared back with six more majors, and he is far from being done at 34.
Nadal recently remarked, “Winning is not normal, and I am always very aware of that”.
Over the past 15 years, he has won an average of 64 times per season. That is definitely not normal, but then again, nothing about Rafa is. It isn’t his mind-boggling statistics or all the wins and titles that are most impressive; it is how he has done it all with class, grace, humility, and sportsmanship.
There is only one thing that Federer’s game cannot contend with. Rafael Nadal’s competitiveness. His competitive spirit would not allow him to lose, including many times that he should have.
Nadal’s 1,000th win is a testament to his resistencia. But he won’t gloat or take a victory lap. When asked about his place in tennis history after capturing his 13th Roland Garros title, he modestly demurred, like he always does.
“Honestly, it doesn’t matter to me much,” he said of his records. “I’m happy with my career. At the moment, it’s clear that I’m one of the two (top players in the sport’s history). We’ll see what happens in the next few years: what Djokovic does, what Federer does when he returns and what I keep doing. If all goes well, we’ll have time to analyse it when our careers are over.”
Statements by the greatest players on Nadal
“I have always had the utmost respect for my friend Rafa as a person and as a champion. As my greatest rival over many years, I believe we have pushed each other to become better players.”
“Some matches that we had against each other were a great turning point in my career. I feel they have made me rethink my game… [The] encounters have also made me the player I am today, without a doubt.”
“[I’m in awe of] the intensity, his fighting spirit, his speed, movement on the court… It’s not very easy to hit winners or play aggressive shots that are going to lead to more defensive balls.”
Boris Becker: “Rafael Nadal can make history at the Australian Open 2021”
Talking about this much-discussed Australian Open 2021, German former tennis legend Boris Becker gave his opinion on this Grand Slam tournament, and in particular about Rafael Nadal, who is looking for the 21 Major of his amazing career, which would mean overcoming Roger Federer.
Becker said, “People sometimes forget Rafael Nadal, who has 20 Grand Slam titles won and is fighting to make tennis history. I think he should be considered among the top favorites of the tournament.”
Wimbledon 08, the three French Open against Federer, Rome against Federer, Madrid against Djokovic, Australian Open against Verdasco, then Federer. Nadal has been in a hell of a lot of classic 5 set and 3 set matches in his short career. The most amazing thing is that he has won most of them.
Nadal is the fiercest competitor, in tennis, for the past twenty years. There are two other players that come close to matching his spirit, Jimmy Connors and Guillermo Vilas, but Nadal has a greater skill level.
Nadal has never won the Association of Tennis Professionals Finals, but is now just two wins away from claiming the prize. However, he faces a tough match against Daniil Medvedev in the semifinals.
Best of tennis Twitter’s reactions to Nadal’s win
“One negative thing about 1,000 wins is you are very old because to win 1,000 matches you need to have a very long career, but I am super happy,” Nadal said in courtside.
He also added, “It means I’ve done a lot of things right. I’m proud of a lot of things, but I faced some challenges in my career in terms of injuries … It`s a big achievement to be playing at the age of 34.”