Rafael Nadal has generated a global fan following and inspired legions of imitators.
There is only one King of Clay, but there is one pro reminiscent of Rafa, says Toni Nadal, the original coach of the world No. 2.
Uncle Toni cites two-time Roland Garros runner-up Dominic Thiem as the player who most reminds him of Rafa.
“Of course I have not seen the next Rafa,” Toni Nadal says at the 4:15 mark of the video. “On the tour, every player is different.
“Maybe who is more similar [to Rafa] is Dominic Thiem, but I don’t know if he can repeat the same results as Rafael.”
Toni Nadal, who runs the Rafa Nadal Academy in his native Mallorca, says he has a simple tennis dream: that young players try to emulate Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal—not because of their styles of play but because of the passion they both bring to the game.
“I hope in the next generation can be a player like Roger, similar to Roger, or similar to Rafael. Because when they put this passion, it’s good for the ATP Tour.”
Photo credit: Rafa Nadal Academy