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“Everything you do means so little” Paula Badosa blames ‘machine’ Rafael Nadal’s immense success as the reason for higher expectations from Spanish players

World No. 3 Paula Badosa speaks about the challenges of being a Spanish tennis player due to the consistent and glorious career of compatriot Rafael Nadal.

Paula Badosa and Rafael Nadal

Former World No. 1 Rafael Nadal remains the only man to win 21 Grand Slam singles titles, a feat that he achieved this year by winning the 2022 Australian Open. The Spaniard is one of the only two players to have won all 4 majors twice and remains the only man to have won all 4 majors and Olympics Gold in singles as well as doubles.

With unmatched dominance on Clay having won the French Open titles 13 times in 17 appearances that has his record at the Grand Slam at 105-3, Nadal has taken Spanish tennis to great heights and revolutionised the sport completely in not just his country but also in the whole world. But as per Paula Badosa, the World no. 3 on the WTA Tour, it has become a problem for other Spanish players.

“He’s the best sportsman in history, not just in Spain, and obviously, it hurts to get behind him. Repeating Rafa’s performance is impossible, I hope I’m wrong. But living behind him is very difficult, everything you do means so little. Making the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam or the semi-finals of a Masters 1000 doesn’t have much taste because it’s used to us. 

“On a professional level, it is not good to compare yourself to him. People don’t care about that, especially not in the position I’m in right now. They tell you that everything is normal, that I must always be in the final,” said Badosa speaking with Diario AS.

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Paula Badosa hoping for a successful French Open campaign for Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal and Paula Badosa

Nadal’s chances at the 2022 French Open took a massive hit when the ‘King of Clay’ made a surprising 3rd round exit at the 2022 Rome Masters with visible pain and difficulty in moving on the court. Although he is scheduled to make the trip to Paris for the Roland Garros, the chances of him playing at his very best remain a massive doubt.

“I have the same question as everyone. I do not know. We have always told him that he has been retired many times in recent years and has never been, he has surprised and has gotten better. He’s a machine, what Rafa has done is from another planet. Hopefully it will be for many more years because it helps Spanish sport a lot. I don’t know how much he can have left, the other day his statements about him were worrying or sad, but I hope he stays just on that,” added Badosa who is one of the title contenders at the major.

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