'I want to defeat Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros' - Brazilian wonderkid Seyboth Wild
- Brazil's Thiago Seyboth Wild revealed in an interview that he would like to beat Rafael Nadal where he is 'invincible'.
- The 20-year-old also said that his tennis idol growing up was Nadal.
Rafael Nadal was one of the most successful teenagers to have ever graced men's tennis. The Spaniard won his first Grand Slam title at Roland Garros at the age of 19, and by 2008 the then 22-year-old had a Wimbledon title and an Olympic gold medal under his belt. At a very early age, Rafael Nadal had marked himself out as a force of nature.
Many believe that young up-and-comers in the game are unfairly compared to Nadal as a teenager, because the physical and mental ability that the Spaniard had from such an early age was an anomaly. But there are some youngsters breaking through on the ATP tour who relish the comparison, and are willing to take up the challenge of being the 'next Rafael Nadal'.
20-year-old Brazilian Thiago Seyboth Wild is one such youngster.
He is my tennis idol: Seyboth Wild on Rafael Nadal
Thiago Seyboth Wild turned 20 on 3 March this year, but already has an ATP Challenger trophy under his belt. He won the title in Santiago, Chile right before tennis was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ranked 114th in the world, Seyboth Wild is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish and English, and is being touted for great things in the future. Speaking to Ubitennis, Seyboth Wild revealed that he wishes to match the intensity of his idol Rafael Nadal. He also described himself as a brave player when it comes to key points.
When asked who his favorite player on tour was, the Brazilian didn't bat an eyelid.
"My favourite player is definitely Rafael Nadal," Seyboth Wild said. "I love the way he plays and the passion he shows on court. When I was younger he was starting his career. When I started playing tennis he was already beating Roger Federer, already winning Slams, becoming the World No. 1."
"He was making it to the Wimbledon finals and eventually winning it the next year despite Federer's dominance," Seyboth Wild added. "I think he just really impressed me when I was younger and he's the guy I have always looked up to."
Seyboth Wild was further asked what his ideal tournament victory would be, as well as who his ideal opponent would be to beat in the final, and he had a definitive answer to both questions.
"I like to play on clay, on fast surfaces. So I would like to defeat Rafael Nadal in the French Open," Seyboth Wild quipped. "Many people have done it before (laughs). Why dream about winning a Challenger when you have already done it? So I dream about defeating Rafa where he is invincible."
Time will tell whether Seyboth Wild's dream comes true in the future. But for now, the Brazilian wonderkid has certainly caught everyone's eye with his ambitious statements.Published 24 Jun 2020, 21:21 IST