Rafael Nadal backhand

‘He never takes a point off!’ – Former WTA star explains what makes Rafael Nadal such a special talent

Rafael Nadal ‘never takes a point off’ according to Lindsay Davenport, who has branded the Spaniard a ‘marvel’.

Nadal, at the age of 33, became the oldest ever world number one at the end of last season after winning two more Grand Slam titles to take his career total to 19.

He is right back on the trophy trail this year too, and won his 85th career title in Acapulco just before the coronavirus forced tennis to shut down.

And he has found an admirer in former WTA world number one Davenport, who says he has something very special that few others possess.

“I dare anybody to say they have seen Rafael Nadal take a point off trying his hardest [or] a practise [off] trying his hardest,” Davenport told the Tennis Channel.

“I just marvel at how he still has that motivation. Getting into his mid-thirties, he’s just as motivated now as he was in his teenage years.

“Normally that is what takes players out of the game. They can’t call on that reserve energy to get through tough practises day in and day out.

“They lose their zest for going to tournaments and going through the grind of the tour.

“But you see Rafa and you hear him [say] ‘I love this. I want to be here more than anywhere else in the world’.

“When you watch him play, it is that motivation, that inner desire that seems deeper in him than most other players we have ever seen.

“We are so lucky that he chose our sport and he’s still in our game.”

Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.