As the Australian open 2021 kick-started in Melbourne on Monday, all eyes are on Rafael Nadal. Tennis fans are quite anxious about whether this World no.2 will surpass Federer’s record of most grand slam wins.
Nadal, on the other hand, is staying as cool as a cucumber. He just scored a comfortable win over Laslo Djere in the first round and looking all set to move forward in the same spirit.
Back injury still stands as Nadal’s biggest obstacle
The only de-motivation here for the Spaniard is his unending troubles with his back. As per him, “My back is not perfect. Every day that I’m able to go through, probably there are more chances to get better. There is always a chance to improve, and that’s why I’m here playing and fighting to try to get better and then give myself a chance”
“I needed to change a little bit the motion of my serve. That’s what I tried [to do] to survive [in] this condition today. I have a day off tomorrow, then [on Thursday] another match. I need to go day-to-day and just try to stay positive.
“Of course, every day that I am trying to stay here is a day with a chance to finally [get] better. [I’m] trying to do all the things possible to be ready to compete.”
Rafael Nadal knows how to deal with such pressure- Corretja
His former teammate, Alex Corretja, believes that the Spaniard knows well to deal with such pressing situations. Corretja put forward these views in one of his recent interviews to leading sports daily. As per him, “Rafael Nadal knows for sure and I think the good thing with him is he deals with this kind of pressure,”
“He is used to dealing with situations where he needs to go for the 10th Roland Garros, he has to go and win Wimbledon and, he has done it. He has won Davis Cup, Olympic golds, every time he finds a way to survive this kind of challenges”, Corretja added.
Corretja further talked about Nadal’s back injury while saying, “He definitely needs to have it in the back of his mind. There is no chance that he is not going to think [about Federer’s record] but the good thing with him is he knows how to deal with these types of situations day by day.”
Nadal on the other side prefers to stay calm and cool about the entire situation. Despite being one of the favorites to win the Australian Open, he is taking it one match at a time. In one of his recent interviews, Nadal said, “I did much more than what I ever dreamed in my tennis career. It would be amazing for me to win one more”.
“But I know that will not be the key for my happiness in the future. It’s not extra pressure and it’s not an obsession. I keep going, doing it my way. If it happens, fantastic, but if not, I’m more than happy about everything that happened to me “.
Rafael Nadal- the best pressure player the Tennis world has ever seen
Nadal stood as the leading player in 2019 on the Infosys Under Pressure LEADERBOARD with an astonishing 253.1 rating. The index incorporated the following metrics:
- Break Points Converted
- Break Points Saved
- Tie-Breaks Won
- Deciding Sets Won
These metrics evaluate a player’s ability to deal with crunch situations during the match. Nadal outscored some big names like Federer and Djokovic while topping this list. This further stamps his authority as the game’s best pressure player.