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Interview Carlos Moyá: “Rafa can win 24 or 25 Grand Slams”

Two weeks have passed since Rafael Nadal conquered his 21st Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, but there are still some questions and curiosities to be rescued from the feat signed by the Spaniard in Melbourne. Thinking of a luxury guest for our youtube channelwe couldn’t think of anyone better than his coach, the former No. 1 in the ATP ranking, Carlos Moya. The Mallorcan sat down with us for 40 minutes to rescue the route in the last five months, going from total uncertainty to maximum happiness in which his pupil managed to break all the pools.

Conclusion after the title in Australia

“Almost everything has been said, you can’t help but admire everything that Rafa is achieving. The victory is impressive but the manner is also impressive, how he overcomes adversity, how he changes tactically during the game, physically defeating one of the fittest players on the circuit, someone who is ten years younger than him. It is a result to be proud of, although there are also things that can be improved, perfection does not exist. Given the circumstances with which we arrived at the tournament a month earlier, both the attitude and the level were spectacular”.

Epic comeback against Medvedev

“The 3-2 and 0-40 of the third is almost a match point, although with Rafa you never know what can happen. If it was already uphill, that would have been practically impossible. He goes point by point, he managed to equalize the game, the set and that was the beginning of the comeback on the scoreboard. You never realize when a comeback begins, you see this later. Although it is true that Rafa was superior in the second set, I think he deserved to win that set, but that superiority must materialize on the scoreboard, which he did not achieve. By level of play, yes, he showed that he could win anyone”.

Doubts before facing the tour

“Rafa is the one who pushes to go to Australia to play the first tournament, knowing that it may not go well, but knowing that it can be useful for the Australian Open. In that aspect he was very brave, so everyone to death with him. Then he came up heads, although it could have come up tails. The practices were good from the beginning and he liked the track conditions. But yes, it’s true, we were on the verge of not going to that tournament.

Nadal’s ambition

“What Rafa is looking for is to be competitive and continue to evolve. It is true that over time you lose physique, speed or explosiveness, but you are smarter and handle situations better. I always say that Rafa is one of the most intelligent players on the court, one of those who read the games best, the one who is most suited to having a Plan B, a Plan C… I would tell you that he has the whole alphabet. If he sees that the rival has a crack or the smallest gap through which he can enter, he sees it, reads it and gets it. The final is a clear example: it starts badly but then it changes, little by little. That is the adrenaline that he has inside, to see that he can still fight with the best in the world.”

The competitive gene

“On the fingers of one hand you can count the athletes who in history have been able to experience situations similar to Rafa’s and have been able to slip away. A Michael Jordan, a Tiger Woods in his best moments, even a Novak Djokovic in tennis. That gene, that competitiveness, that way of turning around everything that is coming is impressive. If we scripted the tournament, reality would have turned out better than what we would have written. Then you see how little things change until you reach the happy ending, but living that metamorphosis is amazing. It was an American movie script”.

A long-term metamorphosis

“When I arrived in 2016 he was 30 and a half years old, but I have a medium-long-term vision. He trusted that he would evolve in a number of ways so that he would still have a long way to go. We had a talk and I saw him very motivated, wanting to win Grand Slams again, there I was convinced that anything could happen. I have known him for many years, I knew where there was room for improvement, so I thought it was time to change certain aspects and from the first tournament (Australian Open 2017) things went well for us. There was no other, if he wanted to extend his career, he had to take risks, so the credit goes to him for always being open to changes. People are not aware of the quality that he has, whatever you propose to him, he does it”.

21 Grand Slams

“If you think about it coldly, it’s impressive. What I can assure you is that in Australia we never talked about #21, although it was on the horizon, you know it can happen. Talking about it would have meant more pressure than I already had. We do not feed that debate, we leave it to the press and the tennis fan. Rafa is happy with what he has, he will be just as happy if he ends up with 21 and Djokovic with 25. It’s not good to obsess; yes get motivated Obviously, he is not going to give up the 22, if the opportunity arises he will fight for him, but it is a debate that, with all of them still active, does not make much sense.

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