Badosa, Alcaraz and the other heirs of the greatest

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to be a tennis player Spain In recent years, it has become a risky profession. the figure of Rafael Nadal he is so big that he has eclipsed almost any record or success that other tennis players have achieved despite the fact that they may have been equally important. However, the Balearic player had the ability to overwhelmingly outperform others.

Nadal has become one of the best in history. For many, the greatest. The Balearic based almost all his success on his enormous talent on clay and from there he managed to shine on hard and grass courts as well. Triumphs in 21 Grand Slam tournaments and a multitude of victories that complete the record of one of the greatest athletes in all of history.

However, alongside his successes coexisted other brilliant careers that did not get the recognition they deserved because they always lost comparison with the player of Manacor. And something like that is what also happens to the great talents that came after Rafa’s splendour.

Being the new Nadal is a scourge that has spread throughout the world of national racketeering and which also affects the talents that have emerged in recent years. The most recent and striking cases are those of Carlos Alcaraz, Paula Badosa Yes Garbiñe Muguruza. The first two spoke about it recently and showed their discomfort at always having to live with the shadow cast by having rubbed shoulders with the greatest of all time, whom they admire and whom they have as a reference.

Nadal, with the title of champion of the Australian Open.

Asanka Brendon Ratnayake


Write your own paths

“Comparisons with Nadal have done a lot of damage and taking the legacy has to start throwing it away, it’s impossible.” Paula Badosa said it just a few hours ago in an act in which she participated when she was asked about the trajectory of the manacorí and hers. The Spanish player, with a clear and sincere tone, tried to break a debate that has taken place in Spanish tennis in recent years.

While some try to find replacements and successors, tennis players like Paula suffer the consequences of seeing how their work is not valued and constantly compared to what Rafa Nadal has done in his career. Paula feels disgusted and hurt because despite being number two in the world in the ranking WTA, his career is always compared to that of Rafa. And his accomplishments never seem to be enough.

This, which Paula has endured sometimes in silence and other times with public criticism, is a burden with which many players have had to develop their careers in recent years. A nightmare that has caused psychological and mental discomfort to many tennis players and for which Nadal is not responsible either. However, this is a bad thing that happens and usually results in these players dropping in level.

“We are talking about the best athlete in history, not just in Spain. Someone like that happens once in a thousand years. We have to keep in mind that we were lucky, but repeating Rafa’s is impossible, although I hope I’m wrong.” Badosa maintains that finding the new Nadal will not be a matter of the emergence of a talented new tennis player, as happened with her or with Alcaraz, but rather characters like this only appear once. only once in history.

“It’s hard to come after him because everything that’s been done seems to be little. Make a few quarters in a Grand Slam or win indian goods He knows little about the country we are in, he has spoiled us”. Paula also mentions the case of Carlos Alcaraz, another young diamond dealer who is also constantly persecuted by comparisons with Rafa Nadal.

Carlos Alcaraz and Rafa Nadal at the Mutua Madrid Open

Carlos Alcaraz and Rafa Nadal at the Mutua Madrid Open


So much so that Rafa himself has had to contend with that continuous resource that many use to gauge the Murcian’s successes. The Spaniard is annoyed that Carlos’ career was constantly compared to his own, especially when he was just starting out. Carlos, who has also complained at times about this circumstance, says he has to write his own path and not think about what Rafa won or failed to win. Even if for the moment the comparisons do not bother him, like Nadal, he begins to get tired of being continually examined.

Badosa, for his part, defends the same as Alcaraz: “He is going to be a great athlete, a new figure in our country. It is Carlos Alcaraz and it will only be him, let’s not try to look like what we have with Rafa to do the same or better, it would be a joy for Spanish sport, but it would be good if we left him as Carlitos”.

Paula denounces that no value was given to the successes obtained at a time when Nadal continued to win, which she or her friend particularly suffered Garbiñe Muguruza: “These are very beautiful sporting achievements and they do not end up being valued, all the more in the position where I am currently. When you are seventy years old and you make quarters, it is a great tournament If you are two you must be in the final. It was necessary to live it like that, what I work and at the end of the day I try to fall asleep knowing that I gave myself 100%. I I care about my opinion and that of those around me.”

What Badosa, Alcaraz and even Rafa himself are denouncing now is something that some very important tennis players in our history have had to live with. The most significant case is that of David Ferrera player who was brilliant on clay and who became world number three and who, if it hadn’t coincided with the Manacor player, would surely have won many more titles than he won, especially on clay.

Other cases similar to those of ‘Ferru’ have been experienced by Ferdinand Verdasco, Robert Baptist, Pablo Carreno, Tommy Robredo Is Nico Almagro. All his victories, to a greater or lesser extent, were underestimated by the tremendous successes achieved by Rafa Nadal. The Balearics have gone ahead of the legacy left by names like alex corretja, carlos moya Is Juan Carlos Ferraro and more important, Manolo Santana.

And something similar has happened in the women’s draw since Hurricane Nadal meant that the triumphs and successes of players like Badosa or Garbiñe had less value and repercussions than they deserved. Moreover, their careers have not been compared to those of legends like Arantxa Sanchez Vicario Is Conchita Martinezits predecessors, but directly received the reflection of Rafa’s prism.

Paula Badosa, discouraged

Paula Badosa, discouraged


Rafa Nadal: a motivation

On the other side of the scale is the importance that Rafa Nadal had for Spanish sport and in particular for tennis. Continuing his legacy or overcoming it is nearly impossible, as Paula Badosa pointed out. Therefore, everyone must write their own path, regardless of their name. However, alongside the long shadow left by comparisons, Nadal’s importance as an inspiration also emerges.

The appearance of a phenomenon like Rafa Nadal broke every unimaginable barrier. This has meant always having a permanent center of attention in the world of tennis from which the sport has benefited at the national level and also many tennis players who, directly or indirectly, have received a certain warmth from this center. Tennis and players matter more since Rafa took the racket discipline to another dimension.

In addition, the man from Manaco managed to be a great source of inspiration for children like Paula or Carlos who grew up watching his successes on television, vibrating with his victories and his fights and dreaming of being a day of professional tennis players like him. Rare is the one who at some point in his life has not hit a ball with a racket and said, or thought, the phrase “like Nadal”. They have taken it to its maximum expression and are already among the best in the world. Like Garbiñe Muguruza, winner of two Grand Slam tournaments and the second Spanish tennis player to reach world number one.

After defending himself and appealing about the harmfulness of certain comparisons, Badosa extolled the importance Nadal had in serving as an example, both on and off the pitch, for many boys and girls: “What’s positive is that we served as an inspiration, when I’m having a bad time I always think about what he would do. But on a professional level it’s not good to spend the whole day to compare yourself to him”.

Rafa’s shadow will be forever long for all who come after him. The winner of 21 Grand Slams has made history to heights no one could have ever imagined. And unconsciously, we will ask their so-called successors to make it happen. And if they don’t, they really haven’t been as good, when in other times their career would have been considered legendary. However, Garbiñe, Paula, Carlos and many others still have a long way to go to continue racking up the successes that will make Spanish tennis great now that Nadal’s career is facing its traumatic home stretch.

[Más información: Novak Djokovic vuelve a ser el nº1 en la pista: la polémica antivacunas que no minó su calidad]


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