'I would have hated Rafael Nadal to have turned out...', says top coach

“I would hate for Rafael Nadal to show up…” says the top coach

Hamburg remained on the Masters 1000 list from 1990 to 2008. The most notable champions were Stefan Edberg, Marcelo Rios, Gustavo Kuerten and Roger Federer, but one big name was missing from the list. Rafael Nadal has always preferred Rome to Hamburg, losing to Roger in the 2007 final and getting another chance a year later.

After an early exit in Rome in 2008, Rafa went to Hamburg and ran into world number three and Roman champion Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals. It was his 10th match and seventh win for Rafa, who won 7-5, 2-6, 6-2 in three hours and three minutes indoors on Center Court.

Novak had an extra reason to beat Rafa on clay for the first time. With this victory, he could have become world number two, but despite great effort and 19 break chances on his account, he eventually lost. The Serb converted just four and suffered five breaks to push his opponent into a final showdown against Roger Federer.

Both achieved a similar number of winners. After an aggressive approach, Djokovic moved ahead of Nadal in the unforced errors department. Yet he made too many unforced errors in his quest, often at key moments, to lose the match and remain world number one.

3. Novak got a break at 1-1 in the first game and consolidated the lead with a forehand winner down the line in the third game. Nadal lost 14 of 18 points from the start of the match and found himself 30-0 down in the fourth game before fending off two break chances to get his name on the scoreboard.

Novak wasted a game point in the fifth game and lost serve and momentum after Rafa’s forehand winner. The Spaniard saved a break point in the sixth game to finally catch up with his opponent and level the score at 3-3.

Nadal has a unique opportunity

In Rafael Nadal’s autobiography, Toni describes how his nephew was a well-behaved boy growing up.

He said: “Respect for other people, for everyone regardless of who they might be or what they might do, is the starting point of everything. It is unacceptable for people who had everything in life to treat other people rudely.

No, the higher you are, the greater your obligation to treat people with respect”. Speaking about what he would have done if Nadal had been an ill-mannered boy, Toni said: “I would hate my nephew if he turned out differently, if he threw tantrums on the court, was rude to his opponents. the whole world is watching television.

Or, for that matter, being rude to the referees or the fans. I always say, and so do his parents, that it’s more important to be a good person than a good player.”

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