"He has the mental intimidation on most of the tour, what's in his brain is just incredible" - Denis Kudla on Rafael Nadal's mental fortitude 

Denis Kudla praised Rafael Nadal
Denis Kudla praised Rafael Nadal
Karan Vinod

Tennis superstar Rafael Nadal won his 22nd Grand Slam title at Roland Garros this year. The Spaniard defeated four top-10 players en route to the title.

Nadal has earned a lot of praise for the accomplishment from people both inside and outside the sport. One such person who has lavished praise on Nadal is American tennis player Denis Kudla. Currently ranked No. 77 in the world, Kudla went up against the Spaniard at the Mexican Open earlier this year and lost in straight sets.

In a conversation with ATP Tennis Radio podcast, Kudla waxed lyrical about the Spaniard and how his mental fortitude and resilience has intimidated many players on tour.

"He has the mental intimidation on most of the tour. It's just his talent level is incredible, his resilience is incredible, his vision for the games and what he brings to table and how he can implement it on everybody is just best of the best," Kudla said.

Kudla also elaborated on Rafael Nadal's approach in matches, saying the 22-time Grand Slam champion has the ability to maintain his focus in every point. Kudla also highlighted how Nadal has never broken a racquet on the court, attributing it to the calm personality of the Spaniard.

"He plays the lefty kind of style so well, he's got such good power, he plays every single point with focus and intent, he's so positive. I was talking about this the other day, it's incredible, where he has been playing for over 17 years and he's never broken a racquet. And it's like wow. Everybody has broken a racquet and he's never broken a racquet. What's in his brain is just incredible," Kudla continued.

Denis Kudla also praised the level of consistency that Rafael Nadal has managed to show throughout his illustrious career. The American went on to compare playing against Nadal to the likes of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray.

"So, it's inspiring to watch it first hand, it's inspiring to play him and kind of see what he does and kind of compare it to playing Novak, playing Roger, playing Andy, it's just amazing what he can do at such a high level and on any given day, so consistent, it feels superhuman," Kudla said.

Rafael Nadal's rocky road to Wimbledon

Rafael Nadal at the 2022 French Open - Day Fifteen
Rafael Nadal at the 2022 French Open - Day Fifteen

Rafael Nadal has struggled with multiple injuries this year. The Spaniard picked up a rib injury at Indian Wells and was forced to spend six weeks on the sidelines. After returning to the tour, he aggravated a long-standing foot injury at the Italian Open in his third-round match against Denis Shapovalov.

In his press conference after the French Open final, Nadal revealed that he had taken injections to numb his feet to be able to play at Roland Garros. The Spaniard stressed that he would not undergo the same process for Wimbledon and would only play if he found a permanent solution to his foot problem.

He added that he would undergo radio-frequency ablations to semi-permanently numb the pain and participate at SW19 if he feels healthy.

The Spaniard was spotted in Barcelona on Tuesday, walking on crutches after his first session of the treatment. His doctor, Angel Ruiz Cotorro, said that Nadal will start practicing four days after the treatment.

"If the radiofrequency works, Rafa will arrive in London in top form. In four days, he will stop using crutches and start training. There, we will see how he is evolving," said Cotorro.
Imagine being able to win Grand Slam titles with a chronic foot injury 🤯There is no one else like Rafa Nadal 👑#RolandGarros | @RafaelNadal

Edited by Keshav Gopalan


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