Rafael Nadal was not only an incredible athlete but also a huge sports fan and by the age of eight he was playing both football and tennis. Two events in particular influenced his final decision. In fact, the Mallorcan listened to his mother’s advice and followed the suggestions of uncle Toni, who, after winning a regional U12 tournament, urged his nephew to intensify his training on the tennis court and focus on one discipline.
When quizzed by the numerous fans who had the opportunity to ask his favorite through US Open social channels, Nadal revealed a particular backstory. “My mother told me that I couldn’t keep playing football, play tennis and go to school at the same time.
She told me, ‘Choose two, and the school has to be one of them.'” Nadal, after losing to Borna Coric in his debut Cincinnati Masters 1000, has been training hard for two weeks with the goal of performing as well as possible in conditions at Flushing Meadows.
The Spanish champions face wildcard Rinky Hijikata in the first round and if he wins, he faces one between Fabio Fognini or Aslan Karatsev in the second. The first seed on Nadal’s path bears the first and last name of Miomir Kecmanovic; while he was expected to face Diego Schwartzman or Frances Tiafoe in the round of 16.
The main contenders to reach the quarterfinals in the same part of the draw as the Spaniard are Andrey Rublev, Denis Shapovalov and Cameron Norrie. All Spanish tennis fans then dream of witnessing a fantastic derby in the semi-finals.
Carlos Alcaraz has been framed in the lower part of the peloton along with Nadal and dreams of lifting the first Grand Slam tournament of his career to the skies. For his part, the talented young Spaniard could face his third challenge of the year against Jannik Sinner in the quarterfinals.
Rafael Nadal returns to the US Open
Rafael Nadal returns to the US Open this year for the first time since winning the title in 2019. While the 2020 pandemic kept him out, his chronic foot condition ruled him out last year.
“Well, be focused (and) try to win. You know when you play the final the feeling before is unique, no? Because you know you are playing for something that will stay for the rest of your career and when you go all the way through the tunnel you see the stadium full” said Rafael Nadal.
“The energy that New York brings to you is so, so special, so I’m kind of nervous, focused, but at the same time excited and enjoying the moment,” he added.