Is Rafael Nadal the greatest player in the history of men’s tennis? It is a subject that was posed to the legendary Spaniard during his tour of Latin America, along with fellow star Casper Ruud. Nadal and Ruud played an exhibition match on a mini-court inside a metro station in Quito, Ecuador on their latest stop and the 22-time Grand Slam singles champion was asked about his “sporting legacy”.
Rafael Nadal has spoken about his “sporting legacy” and whether he considers himself to be the best men’s tennis player in history.
The 36-year-old was joined by his friend and former Rafa Nadal Academy graduate Casper Ruud as the duo played in an exhibition match on a mini-court inside a metro station in Quito, Ecuador on Sunday. It was the latest stop on the pair’s off-season tour of Latin America.
The duo, who currently occupy the No. 2 and No. 3 spots in the ATP Tour rankings, played out their opening exhibition match in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Wednesday, with the legendary Spaniard taking a 7-6 6-2 victory.
Nadal was asked by the assembled media about his much-debated status as one of the greatest men’s players in history and how he viewed his legacy given his famous rivalry with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.
“Well, honestly, I do not know if I am the best in history or not, but I do not consider it either,” Nadal told reporters.
“I think it is something that passes into the background. I think that with those other players, we have managed to fulfil our dreams, and in that sense, the sporting legacy is what it is, and we’ll see what it is when I finish my career.
“For me, the important legacy is that all the people who have been able to live with me during the 20 years of my career have a good human memory of me.
“In the end, the personal issue, education, respect, the affection with which you can treat people go above the professional issue because, in the end, this is what remains with time.”
Nadal and Ruud also visited Santiago, Chile and Belo Horizonte, Brazil before heading to Ecuador, with additional stops in Bogota, Colombia and Mexico City on their hectic schedule.
The Spaniard’s presence on the exhibition tour is perhaps surprising given the injury struggles he has contended with in the 2022 season, having already added two more Grand Slam singles titles to his record tally.
Both Nadal and Ruud will be considered contenders to triumph at the Australian Open in January with the former the defending champion after his astonishing comeback crown this year.
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