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Davenport: So lucky that Rafael Nadal chose our sport and he’s still in our game

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Rafael Nadal smile

Former World No. 1 and multiple Grand Slam champion Lindsay Davenport says tennis is lucky that Rafael Nadal chose to play the sport and that he continues even at this age. Speaking to the Tennis Channel where Davenport is a regular commentator, the American says she is amazed by the Spaniard’s motivation to continue playing after so many years and injuries.

 

 
“I dare anybody to say they have seen Rafael Nadal take a point off trying his hardest [or] a practise [off] trying his hardest. I just marvel at how he still has that motivation. Getting into his mid-thirties, he’s just as motivated now as he was in his teenage years.

Rafael Nadal at US Open

Normally that is what takes players out of the game. They can’t call on that reserve energy to get through tough practises day in and day out. They lose their zest for going to tournaments and going through the grind of the tour.

But you see Rafa and you hear him [say] ‘I love this. I want to be here more than anywhere else in the world. When you watch him play, it is that motivation, that inner desire that seems deeper in him than most other players we have ever seen.

Rafael Nadal

We are so lucky that he chose our sport and he’s still in our game”. Nadal has won 19 Grand Slams in his career, second to only Swiss Roger Federer, who has 20 Grand Slams. The Spaniard has won 12 French Open titles – the most by any tennis player in history.

Feliciano Lopez talks of Rafael Nadal’s initiative
Rafael Nadal thankful

ike his colleagues and friends in the tennis fraternity, Feliciano Lopez, too, has been affected by the cancellation of the tennis tour up to 13th July, 2020. It has also been a double whammy for the Spaniard given his position as the tournament director of the Mutua Madrid Open.

In a recent conversation with Diario Sport, the Toledo native shared his thoughts on the tournament being cancelled – a decision that he termed was the only one that could be taken given the circumstances. Not only because of the widespread nature of the pandemic in the world but also because of what Spain is facing, with increased cases and death rates dotting its trajectory.

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic snap

According to the 38-year-old, because of what the country – and the city – has been grappling with, a tennis tournament was the last thing on people’s minds. Thus, Lopez added that although everyone had worked hard across an entire year to ensure that fans would have another opportunity to enjoy the event, recent happenings had put tournament organisation second on the list of everyone’s priorities.

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal’s Initiative Lopez also spoke about his compatriot and world no. 2 Rafael Nadal’s efforts to raise funds to help those in need during the ongoing pandemic. Nadal and former Spanish basketball player Pau Gasol have created a specific fundraising campaign “NuestraMejorVictoria” (Our Best Victory) that aims to raise around €11 million ($11.8 million) for the needy.

Rafael Nadal speak

This fundraiser is a part of the Red Cross Responds initiative and seeks financial commitments from Spanish sportspersons. Several Spanish sports people have since joined in for the cause. Speaking highly of the initiative, Lopez commended Nadal and said, “These are great positives that demonstrate the power of sports, and that of great athletes such as Nadal and Gasol conveying the values of solidarity, commitment, team-work, and over-coming (of difficulties)”.

Rafael Nadal

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