Thanasi Kokkinakis Praises Rafael Nadal’s Resilience Despite Suffering Numerous Injury Setbacks

Published 01/14/2022, 11:30 AM EST
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 04: Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates his victory in his Men’s Singles quarterfinals match against Diego Schwartzman of Argentina on day ten of the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 04, 2019 in Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Chaz Niell/Getty Images)


The undisputed ‘King of Clay’, Rafael Nadal, is nearing the twilight of his career. The 20-time Grand Slam champion just entered his 22nd season since turning professional way back in 2001. Despite suffering numerous injury setbacks, the Spaniard always comes back stronger.

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His accomplishments have not only drawn praise from tennis fans but also the players on the tennis circuit. Recently, Thanasi Kokkinakis, the 145th ranked Australian, was all praise for Nadal.

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Thanasi Kokkinakis praises Rafael Nadal for his resilience

Over his prestigious career spanning more than 20 years now, the current World Number 6 has dealt with many career-threatening injuries. The list includes a recent left-foot injury, tendonitis on both knees, and various wrist and shoulder issues.

At a press conference, the 25-year-old Australian said, “He’s (Rafael Nadal) so resilient. What he’s been able to do over the years is nothing short of impressive. Staying motivated after all he’s done, to just keep wanting more and wanting to play, it shows the love of the game. He’s one of the best competitors there is.” 

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Last season, Nadal pulled out of Wimbledon, the US Open, and the Olympics and spent several months on the sidelines because of a foot injury. Despite facing these setbacks, Nadal has made a strong start to the 2022 season. The 35-year-old clinched the Melbourne Summer Set title last week, winning his 89th career title.

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Nadal at the Australian Open 2022

Rafael Nadal has been seeded sixth at the opening Grand Slam of the season while Thanasi Kokkinakis has been handed a wildcard. The Spaniard will face Marcos Giron of the USA in the opening round. Thanasi, on the other hand, has a final to look forward to at the Adelaide International 2 against Arthur Rinderknech.

WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 05: Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates a shot during a match against Lloyd Harris of South Africa on Day 6 during the Citi Open at Rock Creek Tennis Center on August 5, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Nadal and Kokkinakis could potentially lock horns in the second round of the Slam in what promises to be an exciting contest. Can the Spaniard make history by winning a record 21st Grand Slam title? Do let us know your views in the comments below.

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Vatsal Shah

61 articles

Vatsal Shah is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. With a Bachelor's degree in engineering, he is a die hard fan of tennis and sports in general. He is an ardent follower of Rafael Nadal and is inspired by his never-say-die attitude.

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