Sanchez reveals why Roger Federer struggled to play at his best against Rafael Nadal

During his career, Rafael Nadal has shown himself to be well beyond a clay court specialist, imposing himself constantly on other surfaces. In addition to the record of 12 titles at the Roland Garros, the Spanish champion has won the Australian Open, the Wimbledon Championships (2008, 2010) and four times the US Open (just one length away from the five Roger Federer titles in New York) .

The former World number 1 had time to win the title in Acapulco before the circuit was suspended due to the Coronavirus emergency. During the latest episode of the ‘Coaching in the Bigs’ series aired on the Tennis Channel, former Spanish Davis Cup captain Emilio Sanchez praised Nadal’s unrivaled mentality, which helped make him one of the greatest athletes in every era.

Sanchez: ‘Nadal is the ultimate fighter’

“Rafa is the emperor of the point by point mentality” – Emilio Sanchez explained. Roger Federer struggled to consistently play his best tennis against Rafael Nadal.

“Rafael Nadal is like the ultimate fighter. He forgets about what happened the previous ball and goes for the next ball. Rafa is an incredible hunter. And on top of that he is so humble about what he does. Rafa doesn’t give a chance to the other player to play to his strengths.

He doesn’t allow the other player to get on top of him. He knows that if he relaxes a bit, the other player is going to come in. Rafa takes away what the other player does well. He won’t give a chance to the other player.”

The 55-year-old also made a mention of Rafael Nadal’s contribution in Spain’s Davis Cup triumph in 2008. “The Davis Cup win in 2008 was incredible. Particularly the win in the semifinal against the US in front of 25000 people when Rafa beat Andy Roddick.”

Nadal and Gasol confirmed that the money raised exceeded €14m, far surpassing the goal they had set at the beginning of the initiative. “Between us all, we have managed to do something important and beautiful,” said Nadal.

“Not only the money raised, which exceeded €14m, but also the solidarity and teamwork shown during difficult times. What you and I did between us was light the flame and contribute our grain of sand. Thank you to all those who wanted to be part of this beautiful and important initiative”.

As well as the whole of Spanish sport, the #NuestraMejorVictoria campaign enjoyed the support of other athletes — such as World No. 1 Novak Djokovic — who wanted to help during these complicated times.

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