12-time doubles Grand Slam champion and one part of the famous ‘Woodies’ Mark Woodforde recently heaped praise on Rafael Nadal for one of his strongest technical part that has helped the Spaniard stand out from the rest of his colleagues as he is now the only man with 22 majors and is tied with Steffi Graf in the list of most majors. Barring Serena Williams, no other player has won more majors in the Open Era than Rafa.
Nadal won his 20th major at the 2020 French Open and having gone without a major in the 2021 season, a big haul was not expected as he was coming after an injury that kept him out for 6 months. Nadal had won the Australian Open just once in 2009 before winning the major once again in 2022 in an extraordinary final and despite his foot injury for which he took painkillers to numb his foot, he went on to win the 2022 French Open as well, the first time he has won the titles in Melbourne and Paris in the same season.
“Rafael Nadal is the best volley-ball player today”: Mark Woodforde
Nadal is always credited for his mentality and ability to bounce back from any point in the match. While he could play longer matches easily earlier, over the past couple of seasons, he has made modifications to avoid playing long matches and keep his legs fresh. One such technique that helps him is his volleying combined with the heavy topspin skill that he possesses making life difficult for his opponents.
“I had the chance to play with one of the greatest volleyball players, McEnroe and on the women’s side with Martina Navratilova. Their games were designed to be at the net, it was also the case for Stefan Edberg or Pat Rafter. Today when I comment and I see Nadal arrive at the net, I tell myself that he has the same attitude as these specialists. Besides, I consider him the best volleyball player in our game today. His technique is not always classic but above all, he is always very well placed to execute the ideal volley,” said Woodforde speaking in the US Open Podcast.
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