The undisputed ‘King of Clay’, Rafael Nadal, is nearing the twilight of his career. The 20-time Grand Slam champion just entered his 22nd season since turning professional way back in 2001. Despite suffering numerous injury setbacks, the Spaniard always comes back stronger.
His accomplishments have not only drawn praise from tennis fans but also the players on the tennis circuit. Recently, Thanasi Kokkinakis, the 145th ranked Australian, was all praise for Nadal.
Thanasi Kokkinakis praises Rafael Nadal for his resilience
Over his prestigious career spanning more than 20 years now, the current World Number 6 has dealt with many career-threatening injuries. The list includes a recent left-foot injury, tendonitis on both knees, and various wrist and shoulder issues.
At a press conference, the 25-year-old Australian said, “He’s (Rafael Nadal) so resilient. What he’s been able to do over the years is nothing short of impressive. Staying motivated after all he’s done, to just keep wanting more and wanting to play, it shows the love of the game. He’s one of the best competitors there is.”
Kokkinakis , on Nadal: “He’s so resilient. What he’s been able to do over the years is nothing short of impressive. Staying motivated after all he’s done, to just keep wanting more and wanting to play, it shows the love of the game. He’s one of the best competitors there is.” pic.twitter.com/XCuQdggono
— We Are Tennis (@WeAreTennis) January 13, 2022
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Last season, Nadal pulled out of Wimbledon, the US Open, and the Olympics and spent several months on the sidelines because of a foot injury. Despite facing these setbacks, Nadal has made a strong start to the 2022 season. The 35-year-old clinched the Melbourne Summer Set title last week, winning his 89th career title.
Nadal at the Australian Open 2022
Rafael Nadal has been seeded sixth at the opening Grand Slam of the season while Thanasi Kokkinakis has been handed a wildcard. The Spaniard will face Marcos Giron of the USA in the opening round. Thanasi, on the other hand, has a final to look forward to at the Adelaide International 2 against Arthur Rinderknech.
WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 05: Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates a shot during a match against Lloyd Harris of South Africa on Day 6 during the Citi Open at Rock Creek Tennis Center on August 5, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Nadal and Kokkinakis could potentially lock horns in the second round of the Slam in what promises to be an exciting contest. Can the Spaniard make history by winning a record 21st Grand Slam title? Do let us know your views in the comments below.
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