Gilles Simon Reveals What Makes Rafael Nadal ‘Special’ While Strategizing His Game

Published 01/24/2021, 9:52 AM EST
Rafael Nadal of Spain serves during a practice session ahead of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 10, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)


Over the years, Rafael Nadal earned tremendous success, competing at the highest level. The ability to regroup himself and claw back into the match is what stands out for the Spaniard. He is considered, one of the greatest competitors the sports has ever witnessed. 

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There have been many instances, in which Rafa looked far from winning but he somehow manages to turn situations in his favor. The heroics at Roland Garros earned him the title ‘King of Clay’. He’s won 13 Grand Slam titles at the venue, and it seems he’s far from done. 

Rafael Nadal of Spain hugs the Musketeers’ Cup as he celebrates victory following the mens singles final against Dominic Thiem of Austria during day fifteen of the 2018 French Open at Roland Garros on June 10, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Gilles Simon: Rafael Nadal Puts Intensity Into His Forehand

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Recently, highlighting this aspect of his was French tennis player, Gilles Simon. He echoed the Spaniard ability and said, “Rafa starts from what works when things aren’t working well. I’m going to put a lot of intensity in my forehand range on the backhand side of the other. And I’m going to be around a lot by putting energy into it.”

The 20-time Grand Slam winner has the ability to tire his opponents by engaging in long rallies from the baseline and once he gets his opponent outside the court, he moves in to finish the point with a final volley. 

Spain’s Rafael Nadal in action during his semi-final match against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

Elaborating further on it, Gilles said, “And from there, I’m gonna …. I’m validating that first, that it’s my thing. If his life depends on one point, he’s going to play this. That’s what’s so special about him, and then you see the construction. Then he’ll play longer, and sometimes he comes forward, etc. Let’s just approach it this way, it would be easier.” 

As of date, the Spaniard is currently in Adelaide for the ‘A Day at the Drive’ exhibition event. After that, he’ll travel to Melbourne for the first Major of the new season. Rafa won the Australian Open, back in 2009.  

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Rohan Kollare

846 articles

Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.

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