“I Tried to Do What Rafa Does” – Australian No.1 Recalls Epic Match Against Rafael Nadal

Published 07/20/2020, 1:00 PM EDT


Australian No.1, Alex De Minaur, represented his country at the ATP Cup this year. In the semi-finals, he played a very closely fought match against Rafael Nadal. The Australian won the first set but Rafa made a comeback and won the match. The final score was- 6-4, 5-7, 1-6.

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The ATP Cup began at the start of 2020, and it didn’t disappoint as Team Serbia defeated Team Spain in a close final. Leading the lines for Spain and Serbia were Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

Spain faced Australia in the semi-finals. Australia had a very young team, with Alex de Minaur part of it too. He played Nadal in the semifinal and the 21-year-old was overwhelmed.

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“I was trying to be as electric as Rafael Nadal” – Alex De Minaur

In an interview with Tennis Head, Alex expressed his reaction and feelings about that night. He had tremendous pressure on his shoulders, as his team was already one game down in the match. And so, he tried to do what Rafa does in his matches.

“It was a very good experience. It was a weird one because let just says I went into the match in a completely different headspace that I probably have gone into a lot of my matches. You know we were down obviously one love in the match and I had to basically go out there and try to be Rafa to stay and play the doubles. So I kind of just try to bring all the energy I could get into this match.

“I try to go out there and basically do what Rafa does to his opponents, basically just trying to be as electric as possible and be verbal.”

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He liked how he played against Nadal. He had Aussie legend Lleyton Hewitt courtside, firing him up. And he was playing the match in Australia, in front of his home crowd so he loved the experience.

“It was a great match and a great experience but it was a bittersweet ending. Even in that match, I was just in this zone where I’m like trying to win every single point that I can and obviously having someone like Lleyton on the sidelines getting fired up, it was just great. Didn’t get the result I wanted but I’ve learned a lot from it.” 

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This also shows us the extra emotions that come into play when countries are involved. Furthermore, Alex was playing one of the greats in Rafael Nadal so the pressure must have been very high.

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Bhavishya Mittal

1074 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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