Rafael Nadal, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Alex de Minaur Talk About their Tennis Heroes While Growing Up

Published 07/22/2021, 6:00 AM EDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 11, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal in action during his semi final match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier


Players often take inspiration from their idols and other experienced players. The current men’s tennis players have also mentioned the players they grew up watching. Rafael Nadal, Felix Auger-Aliassime, and Alex De Minaur were some of the players who revealed their idols’ names in an interview with TennisTV.

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People often draw inspiration from others and learn from them. The current players have also learned a lot from their idols, and it reflects in their game.

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Rafael Nadal speaks about his favorite player

Rafael Nadal has been a legend in Spanish sporting history. He is one of the top athletes in Spain, as a result of his personal achievements. However, every student has a teacher, and such is the case with Nadal. Nadal idolized Carlos Moya while growing up, and even has him as his coach currently.

Carlos Moya is 10 years older than Nadal and has been coaching him since 2016. However, experience failed against raw talent, as Nadal enjoys a 6-2 lead in the head-to-head against Carlos. The first time Nadal played his idol was in 2003; he beat him 7-5, 6-4 at the Hamburg Open.

The inspiration Moya provided worked wonders for Rafael Nadal as he went on to achieve everything in his tennis career. Now, the current junior Spanish players draw inspiration from the King of Clay.

Watch this story: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams and Others Winning Medals of Glory at Olympic Games

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 11, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal leaves court after losing his semi final match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Young guns Alex and Felix open up about their childhood heroes

Felix Auger Aliassime and Alex De Minaur are the new rising stars around the circuit. They both have impressed everyone this year, as a result of their hunger and youthful talent. Alex has won two titles this year at the Eastbourne International and the Antalya Open. Felix rose up to the action when he beat Roger Federer at the Halle Open and reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon.

Felix idolized Jo-Wilfried Tsonga while growing up. He believes that he relates to his style of play the most. “I really enjoyed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. There weren’t many guys of color on the tour and him and Monfils were maybe the only ones. I could really relate to him and to his game and I just loved watching him; he was really entertaining to me,” said Felix.

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 7, 2021 Canada’s Felix Auger Aliassime in action during his quarter final match against Italy’s Matteo Berrettini REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

On the other hand, Alex idolized Lleyton Hewitt and Nikolay Davydenko.

Growing up, I probably had a couple of players. Lleyton was always one that I loved watching. And really inspired me, and funnily enough, Davydenko. You know it’s out there, but I just enjoyed watching him when I was growing up, how he played and how quick his movement was. As a young kid, I used to shave my head to have very, very short hair just like him, so that’s a fun fact,” said Alex.

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Rafael Nadal and Alex De Minaur will not be participating in Tokyo for the Olympic Games. However, they will soon make a comeback for the US Open in August.

 

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Suchit Halder

191 articles

Suchit Halder is a Tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Management Studies from St Xavier's College, Mumbai. With a keen interest in writing and sports, Suchit has previously worked as a content writer at Football Counter and worked with the content team for Delhi Capitals during IPL 2021.

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