Former World No. 1 Tracy Austin believes Rafael Nadal is an exemplary athlete who can be used as a source of inspiration for budding as well as established tennis players.
Austin is a two-time Grand Slam champion; she won the US Open in both 1979 and 1981. During her post-playing years, the American has done extensive work as a tennis commentator.
Austin recently took to Twitter to reply to a tweet made by ATP, which had a quote from Rafael Nadal. In it, Nadal spoke about his love for the sport, explaining the source behind his never-ending determination to keep improving.
"I play with passion, with clear goals and with love for the game with the right intensity and at the same time have enough passion to go on court every day and try to be better player," Rafael Nadal said. "That's the whole thing."
Tracy Austin then suggested that 'every tennis academy and locker room' should put Nadal's quote on their walls to help guide and motivate their players. Austin believes the Spaniard has hit the nail on the head with his passionate take on the matter.
"Every tennis academy & locker room should have this up on the wall!." Austin said about Nadal. "Refreshing and so inspirational.👏 Because this is “the whole thing”.
Rafael Nadal will begin his bid for a 6th Madrid Open crown on Wednesday
Rafael Nadal will open his 2021 Madrid Open campaign against Carlos Alcaraz in the second round on Wednesday. Nadal received a bye in the first round, and Alcaraz defeated Adrian Mannarino 6-4, 6-0 in his opener on Monday.
Nadal is a five-time champion in the Spanish capital, having won the title in 2005, 2010, 2013, 2014 and 2017. Additionally, the 34-year-old has finished as the runner-up in 2009, 2011 and 2015.
Rafael Nadal's quest for a sixth title in Madrid could require him to beat a host of talented players. The World No. 2 has been drawn to face teenage sensation Jannik Sinner in the third round, while Alexander Zverev is the seeded player drawn to face Nadal in the quarterfinals.
A semifinal clash against Dominic Thiem is on the cards for Rafael Nadal too. If Thiem falls early, Andrey Rublev is another name in the mix who could take on the Spaniard in the last four.
Given Stefanos Tsitsipas' superlative form, it seems likely that he will be able to navigate his way from the bottom half of the draw. As such, the Greek could be a potential opponent for Rafael Nadal in the final.