“Rafael Nadal wanted to destroy me” – Martin Landaluce revisits practice session with Spaniard

Martin Landaluce with Rafael Nadal.
Martin Landaluce with Rafael Nadal.

Rising tennis star Martin Landaluce recently recalled a practice session with compatriot Rafael Nadal at the latter's tennis academy.

Landaluce is the 2022 US Open boys' singles title winner. He currently sits in the 672nd spot on the ATP rankings and trains at the Rafa Nadal Academy in Mallorca, Spain.

He sat down with the ATP Challenger tour for a brief conversation and began by revisiting his first victory on the circuit.

"It was in Madrid in home with all my family watching. It was such a good match. Everyone was full cheering me. It was the place to win my first Challenger match, so it was a great experience. And then I lost in second but it was a fun week there," he said.

The 17-year-old made his ATP debut against Tommy Paul at the Gijon Open in October last year. Paul defeated the Spaniard 6-3, 6-0 with ease.

Landaluce further talked about learning from compatriots Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz.

"I’ve practised with both many times, they’re such good persons in and off the court. I really take a lot of things about them. They’re such amazing persons and it’s good to practice with these kind of because you get a lot of things from them," he said.

After being shown a video of one of his practice sessions with the 22-time Grand Slam champion, he commented:

"Oh! This point was good. He [Nadal] was destroying the ball here, he was destroying it. Nah he’s too good. He’s too good. He was beating me like he was winning every point. He was hitting everything. No no no, he wanted to destroy me."

"Rafael Nadal is my idol" - Martin Landaluce

Martin Landaluce
Martin Landaluce

After Martin Landaluce won the US Open boys' singles title last year, he stated that Rafael Nadal has been his idol since he started playing tennis and spoke highly of his fighting spirit, which he said is a theme among Spaniards.

"I think in part is the mentality we have like a country. We are fighters. Especially I think we have had Rafa, one of the best persons, best examples of sport management. He's my idol since I've been playing. I think for many people he's such an inspiration," he said.

Landaluce also said that Carlos Alcaraz's rise was a great testimony of Spain's prowess in the sport.

"Having him, and now Carlos, one of the things that Spain has in, like, difference with other countries, because we're so fighters. We try to win in every match, in every moment," he added.

What is the foot injury that has troubled Rafael Nadal over the years? Check here

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Edited by Anirudh
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