Chris Evert finds Rafael Nadal’s hunger as the most impressive things about the Spaniard and she feels that exact hunger is the reason why the 36-year-old has been able to stay on top for so long. Nadal, a record 22-time Grand Slam champion, has accomplished pretty much everything but he is still motivated like he hasn’t won a thing.
Over the years, Nadal has battled various injuries and setbacks. But simply quitting was never an option for Nadal. “We all thought he’s going to have like a 15-year career,” Evert told ESPN. “And he surpassed that now.
And the thing with Rafa that’s so impressive, it’s not the body or the injuries or the fitness level. To me, it’s the hunger. The second he loses that hunger, that’s a huge part of his game. And that’s 25 percent of his game is going to drop off because that hunger has won him a lot of matches and gotten him out of a lot of tight spots.
And that hunger has kept him going. And I think he realizes that he’s going to milk it as long as he can, because he’s very smart, and he knows, oh, my God, once it’s done, it’s done. You can never get it back.
You can never go back. And this has been such — it’s been just what’s kept him going in life is being a tennis professional.”
Evert: Nadal will miss tennis the most
Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic have entered the final phase of their careers.
Once they are all gone, Evert feels it will be Nadal who will miss the most the competition. “So, I think he probably will miss it more than anybody once he retires,” Evert added. “But, yes, he’s just awe-inspiring.
And I didn’t pick him to win the last two French Opens. I go, sure, Djokovic or somebody has come close before and Rafa can’t keep this up. But he has. He surpassed everything. So, everything should be icing on the cake.” Nadal will be aiming to win a record 23rd Grand Slam at the US Open.