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"I want, I can, I do" - Kuerten explains the mindset of 'genius' Rafael Nadal, says he can win 15 French Open titles

Rafael Nadal during the men
Rafael Nadal during the men's singles final at the 2020 French Open
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Modified 16 Oct 2020, 13:09 IST
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Former World No. 1 Gustavo Kuerten recently talked about Rafael Nadal's latest French Open triumph, calling it 'fantastic' and 'admirable'. He added that the Spaniard has a very good chance of adding more Roland Garros titles in the years to come.

On Sunday, Rafael Nadal won his record-extending 13th French Open title with a straight-sets triumph over World No. 1 Novak Djokovic. It also marked his 20th Grand Slam singles title, tying him with Roger Federer for the most Grand Slam singles titles in men's tennis history.

Kuerten was speaking in an online chat with former tennis player Flávio Saretta, also from Brazil, who reached the fourth round of the French Open in 2003.

“Fantastic, more and more admirable, beyond the impossible. It looks like the 14th (title) is coming and he has a good chance of getting the 15th," Kuerten said.

The Brazilian also spoke about the Spaniard's mindset, which he believes is what helps 'geniuses' achieve success.

“Rafael Nadal starts from a basic principle, which is how geniuses do it," Kuerten said. "He simplifies the process based on: I want, I can, I do. If he plays the Rio Open today, his mind is already thinking about Roland Garros."

It would be a sensational match: Gustavo Kuerten on a hypothetical matchup against Rafael Nadal

 Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil at Roland Garros in Paris, France in 1997
 Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil at Roland Garros in Paris, France in 1997

Gustavo Kuerten won the French open on three occasions (in 1997, 2000 and 2001) and was an absolute favorite with the Paris crowds. However, he never got the chance to play against Rafael Nadal in his career.

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Due to injuries, the Brazilian was not able to compete consistently in tournaments during the last few few years of his career. He retired prematurely in 2008, at the age of 32.

Rafael Nadal of Spain bites the trophy following victory at the 2020 French Open
Rafael Nadal of Spain bites the trophy following victory at the 2020 French Open

Kuerten was asked during the chat what it would have been like to play against Rafael Nadal. The Brazilian replied that it would be a 'sensational' match given the claycourt prowess of the two players.

"If my body had lasted a few more years, maybe until 2006, it would be a sensational match," Kuerten said. "I always go on the court to do everything. Rafael Nadal is so great that each ball had to be played in its moment, fit for the right occasion."
Published 16 Oct 2020, 13:09 IST
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