“I’m not shouting in the locker room! I take an ice-cold shower, listen to the music in my headphones, and, yes, I tie the bandana. But I have never allowed myself to intimidate an opponent,” Nadal said.
Rafael Nadal is among the best players of all time, if not the best. But when the 20-time important winner is not plying his trade about the courtroom, he is also known for his humility off of it.
“He’s a great, well-mannered guy who always says hello, winks at you, smiles at you. He is never rude,” Sierzputowski said. “Rafa plays board games with his team, sits with other players, and eats the same thing as everyone else.”
Nadal has often been cited as the most humble and down-to-earth tennis player in the world. Despite being focused on the court, the Spaniard is regarded as of the exact opposite character when he is not competing. Many have wondered, however, whether Rafael Nadal’s on-court intensity extends into the locker room also.
Some consider his grueling and ritualistic match preparations could create an intimidating atmosphere around him, warding off his fellow players. In that context, the Spaniard lately spoke to Corriere Della Serra about his attitude to rivals on and off the court.
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Rafael Nadal’s friendly character off the court was additionally recently corroborated by Piotr Sierzputowski, the coach of dominating women’s French Open winner Iga Swiatek. Sierzputowski revealed that Nadal always makes it a point to greet other players and that he is a really approachable person in general.
“We are not here to praise each other” – Rafael Nadal
“Sometimes I do. It’s rare and it’s normal, we are not here to applaud each other. It’s up to the public to decide,” Nadal said.
Besides his attitude off the court, Rafael Nadal has also sometimes been seen giving cold handshakes to his opponents following a reduction. There are a few fans who also wonder why Nadal infrequently, if ever, applauds an opponent’s good shot, the way Novak Djokovic so often does.
However, the Spaniard doesn’t think much of the claim, which is not surprising given his ultra-competitive mindset. Nadal believes the key goal of players is to present their best; the applause, as stated by the 34-year-old, is the domain of the audience.