Rafael Nadal: Gilles Simon has a whole lot of respect and admiration towards Rafael Nadal, and he’s given a detailed account of this in his most recent publication titled ‘ The Sport that makes you mad’. In a number of the excerpts in the book which have been made public, that the Frenchman could be seen showering extravagant praise about the 13-time French Open winner.
Now another excerpt has come to light, where Simon lauds the Mallorcan’s humility and highlights specific on-court incidents where that quality was especially evident. Rafael Nadal is widely recognized to be among the most humble athletes in most sport, let alone only tennis.
“This is his humility, in his ability to always start from scratch, not in the sentences he makes before and after the games,” Simon wrote.
A number of his on-court achievements are overpowering, and Nadal hasn’t used them to give himself a feeling of pride or to match his ego.
Gilles Simon considers that Rafael Nadal’s humility can be found in the fact that the Spaniard is in a position to ‘start from scratch’ at each tournament, even if he’s won it several times previously.
Rafael Nadal expresses his humility on the court: Gilles Simon
Rafael Nadal frequently tends to underplay his opportunities during press conferences, and several use that as proof of his outstanding modesty. However, for Gilles Simon, these are mere words, rather than an actual indication of anything.
“Do not tell me that Rafael Nadal is humble because he said in a press conference that he is not favorite in the first round of Roland Garros,” Simon said.
Rather, Simon believes Rafael Nadal’s true humility is best evidenced in his demeanor and play on the court. The Frenchman cited the instance of Nadal’s second-round match in the 2016 Indian Wells Pros, where he was playing Alexander Zverev.
“His humility, he shows it on the court, as in this match against Zverev (2016),” Simon added. “This is humility: being in the present, despite all his records.”
Zverev had a match point in the third group but Rafael Nadal refused to give in and continued battling as though it was an issue of life and death for him. And that was despite Nadal’s phenomenal record in Indian Wells (he had already won the name thrice by then), leading Simon to feel that the Spaniard is like a child’ even after all of his achievements.
“Even if that has happened to him 10 times… well he didn’t care,” the Frenchman wrote further. “He was like a kid.”