Uncle Toni has always had a major impact on Rafael Nadal’s career. They have won a total of 16 Grand Slam tournaments together, making them one of the most successful pairs in the history of the sport.
Moreover, only a few know that the Spanish phenomenon has not always played tennis with his left hand. Rafael Nadal is actually ambidextrous. In a recent interview, the 20-time Grand Slam champion recalled how his uncle had helped him turn that ability into a force to be harnessed.
This year, the former world number 1 was honored at Roland Garros for the 13th time, thus tying the all-time record of his eternal rival Roger Federer.
On the occasion of the Rolex Paris Masters, the 34-year-old Mallorcan signed his 1000th victory on the ATP circuit. However, Rafa couldn’t break the glass ceiling when it comes to the ATP Final as his trip to the O2 Arena in London came to a halt in the semi-finals, facing future winner Daniil Medvedev.
The Iberian legend will also be a favorite at the 2021 Australian Open, which takes place February 8-21 at Melbourne Park. The tennis players will, however, travel to Australia between January 15 and 17 and they will face two weeks of forced quarantine.
Nadal on his ambidexterity
“I played with both hands, (with) two backhands because I started very small and had no strength,” began Rafael Nadal. “My uncle said to me, ‘On TV do you see a lot of people playing with both hands (either one or the other)?’
I said, ‘No.’ And he said, ‘Well, you have to use them both.’ And it was natural for me to hit (in the end) with my left hand (the one he felt most comfortable with).
I have more sensitivity with the law for almost everything else. I also play football with the left. In golf, with the forehand, but that’s normal because it’s like a tennis backhand, ”added the 34-year-old Spaniard.
“It is also true that these are strange things,” concluded the world No. 2. Rafael Nadal’s incredible forehand was voted the best of all, with a total of 57 points (in the polls).
Nadal was followed by Swiss rival Roger Federer in second place (39 points), then Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro with 29 points. Thirteen-time champion at Roland Garros, Nadal also edged out Novak Djokovic in the survey in terms of mental strength.
The Spaniard had 68 points and was followed by Djokovic with 52. Meanwhile, 20-time major winner Roger Federer was voted on to possess the best ends of the round with 63 points. He was followed by Nadal with 24 points then by Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert (13 points).