"You want the next generation to be little Rafa's" - Andre Agassi's former coach Darren Cahill praises Rafael Nadal for setting great example

Darren Cahill praises Rafael Nadal as a tennis player and a person.
Darren Cahill praises Rafael Nadal as a tennis player and a person.

Rafael Nadal has set the most ideal example for the upcoming and future generations of tennis players to follow, according to leading tennis coach Darren Cahill. The Australian coach, who has worked with the likes of Andre Agassi and Simona Halep, urged the next-gen to learn from the Spanish great as a player as well as a person.

Cahill highlighted that the 22-time Grand Slam champion's work ethic is second to none. While Cahill wants younger tennis players to closely follow the Spaniard and learn from the way he trains and focuses on improving himself, he also feels they would greatly benefit from following Nadal's example in their behavior both on and off the court.

The 57-year-old spoke his piece on the Spaniard's legacy during a recent chat on the Big Deal podcast and said that he wants the next-gen to be "little Rafael Nadals."

"Rafa is an amazing person, an amazing athlete," Cahill expressed. "You want the next generation to be little Rafa's, don't you?
"The way they train, the way they treat their opponents, the way they treat everything. His work ethic is second to none, the way he goes about his tennis. You want the next generation to have his ethics, his work ethic."

The 36-year-old is currently nursing a hip injury that thwarted his 2023 Australian Open campaign in the second round, following which he has dropped to No. 6 in the rankings.

He is expected to make a comeback at the Miami Open late next month, before shifting his focus towards historically his most successful part of the tennis year - the claycourt season.

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will not give up the mantle easily to the next-gen, says Darren Cahill

Rafael Nadal in action at the 2023 Australian Open.
Rafael Nadal in action at the 2023 Australian Open.

While Darren Cahill feels the younger generation must learn from Rafael Nadal, he also stressed that they will have to work very hard to consistently beat the Spaniard and his great rival Novak Djokovic.

Cahill highlighted that the long-anticipated "change of the guard" in men's tennis has still not happened as the two tennis greats continue to dominate the tour. While he admitted that it would be good for the sport if members of the next-gen win a few more Grand Slams going forward, he strongly feels Nadal and Djokovic will not give in easily.

"We've been saying it for a few years that there might be a changing of the guard and we haven't really seen it, have we? Because Novak continues to do Novak things and Rafa won a couple of majors last year with the Aussie and the French," Cahill stated.
"We would love some of the young guns to come through and start winning a few Majors, that would be great for the sport. But these guys are not going to give up the mantle easily," he added.

With both the Big 3 members tied on 22 Major singles titles each, they will resume their battle to take the lead in the all-time Grand Slam race at the 2023 French Open in May. The Spaniard, however, is a heavy favorite to win his 15th French Open title.

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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