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Friday, October 7, 2022

‘Rafael Nadal and I played at an impressive level’, says ATP star

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Rafael Nadal has made a long series of memorable feats, which have helped make him one of the greatest athletes of the modern era. The Spanish phenomenon left everyone speechless even in the first part of 2022, managing to win the Australian Open and Roland Garros against all odds.

At 36 and despite persistent foot pain, the former world number 1 has found the strength to conquer two majors and stretch over his eternal rivals in the all-time rankings. Novak Djokovic shortened the gap by triumphing at Wimbledon for the seventh time in his career, but he is unlikely to be able to travel to the USA to play the last Slam of the season.

The Majorcan, for his part, preferred to skip the Masters 1000 in Montreal scheduled this week. It is still unclear whether he will return to Cincinnati or directly to New York later this month. In a long interview granted to Mundo Deportivo, Fernando Verdasco recalled the famous 2009 Australian Open semi-final against Nadal.

The legend of Manacor prevailed with the score of 6-7 6-4 7-6 6-7 6-4 after five hours of battle.

Verdasco opens up on Nadal

In a very nice interview given to the Spanish daily Mundo Deportivo, Fernando Verdasco, after talking about his longevity and that of Roger Federer, returned to this famous lost semi-final of the Australian Open 2009 against Rafael Nadal after 5 hours of a monumental battle (7–6(4), 4–6, 6–7(2), 7–6(1), 4–6).

“Sometimes the memory comes back to me and sometimes people challenge me; it was the most iconic match of my career, the Australian Open semi-final against the world number one, two Spaniards, a match that lasted more than five hours… the level was impressive.

Years and years later, people stop me in the street to tell me that this is the best game they have ever seen. On the one hand, it comforts me and gives me joy to have played so well; on the other hand, you look back and you’re like, ‘Oh my God, I was at 4–4 in the fifth set, 0–30, second serve, I missed a return and, I don’t know ‘

Then the final got away from me so I could play against Federer.” In an interview with tennis MAGAZIN, Mischa Zverev hailed Nadal for being unpredictable, adopting surprise tactics like a serve and volley to surprise his opponent.

“The players, especially Medvedev, are preparing for long rallies. After serve and return, you play the point practically like a penalty. This is the tactic of building the point from behind. Rafa is constantly analysing the game, and he knows when it’s wise to create moments of surprise. He often does something new or unexpected when he’s behind,” Zverev said.

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