As a singles player, Rafael Nadal is more than a frightening prospect for any opponent. Even the other two all-time greats of this era - Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic - have had plenty of troubles against the Spaniard over the years.
But it's not just in singles that Nadal has proven his worth. In a recent interview with Olympic Call, Grand Slam winning doubles player Bruno Soares discussed how Rafael Nadal would be a nightmare of an opponent in the men’s doubles event at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
Bruno Soares will not be taking the duo of Rafael Nadal and Marc Lopez lightly at Tokyo
Bruno Soares is a seasoned campaigner when it comes to doubles. He has made a mark for himself in men's as well as mixed doubles, winning Grand Slam events in both categories. Alongside compatriot Marcelo Melo, Soares is one of the favourites to win the gold medal at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
The 38-year-old, however, is wary of the threat posed by the Spanish duo of Rafael Nadal and Marc Lopez. 19-time Grand Slam singles champion Rafael Nadal won gold at the men's doubles event in Rio, with compatriot Marc Lopez for company.
Soares explained how he is well aware of the 'danger' that Nadal and Lopez pose, given that they are so comfortable with each other's games.
“There are other pairs (as favourites), take the example of Rafael Nadal and Marc Lopez, they are from the old ones, they have been playing together for ten years, despite Nadal not playing a duo on the circuit, we knew the danger of this duo,” Soares said.
Rafael Nadal doesn't play too many doubles events due to the high workload he has in singles. Despite that, the Mallorcan has a fair number of titles to boast of in team events.
Rafael Nadal has 11 doubles titles to his name, out of which three are ATP 1000 events (Monte-Carlo and Indian Wells twice), and one is the Olympic gold that he won with Marc Lopez.
The Spanish duo beat the experienced combinations of Daniel Nestor / Vasek Pospisil and Florin Mergea / Horia Tecau to emerge triumphant at Rio 2016, giving Nadal his second Olympic medal overall.
Incidentally, five of Rafael Nadal’s 11 doubles title have been won with Marc Lopez. Despite not playing as much as he’d like to on tour, Nadal seems to have developed a great understanding and co-ordination with his compatriot.
The chemistry that the duo possess could prove to be advantageous for them at the 2021 Olympics, and Bruno Soares feels the same.
“The coolest thing about the Olympics is this uncertainty, how some fitting pairs are formed, that don't play the circuit," Soares went on. "There is always a lack of information and at the same time that surprise of how the pair will perform, that's one of the cool things about the dynamics of the Olympics.”Published 01 Aug 2020, 18:51 IST