Rafael Nadal Australian Open 2022

‘He is on par with Michael Jordan’ declares coach on Rafael Nadal competitive drive

Carlos Moya has compared the competitive nature of his charge Rafael Nadal to that of Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods.

The 21-time Slam champion has pushed himself through so many challenges to lead Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in the men’s Slam race.

Moreover, Nadal is far from done growing, as former world number one Moya explained.

“What Rafa [Nadal] is looking for is to be competitive and to continue to evolve,” Moya told Punto de Break.

“It is true that over time you lose physique, speed, explosiveness, but you are smarter and handle situations better.”

Nadal famously contested perhaps the most brutal Major final ever a decade ago when he faced Djokovic in the 2012 Australian Open final.

Then aged 25, the Spaniard fought for nearly six hours on court before eventually being defeated by Djokovic.

While many agree that Nadal is less physically dominant at 35 years old, Moya described how much wiser he is.

“I always say that Rafa is one of the most intelligent players on the court, one of those who reads games the best, the one who is most suited to having a Plan B, a Plan C,” he continued.

“I would tell you that he has the whole alphabet.

“If he sees that his opponent has a crack or the smallest gap through which he can enter, he reads it and gets through it.

“The final is a clear example, it starts badly but then it changes, little by little.

“That is the adrenaline that he has inside, to see that he can still fight with the best in the world.”

Moya further compared Nadal to legends outside of tennis, including the best of basketball and golf.

“On the fingers of one hand you can count the athletes who in history have been able to experience situations similar to Rafa’s and have been able to succeed.

“Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods in his best moments, Novak Djokovic in tennis.

“That gene, that competitiveness, that way of managing to change outcomes is impressive.”

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