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Rafael Nadal in action

‘Rafael Nadal would be the most difficult player for me to play against,’ says Ivan Lendl

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Ivan Lendl says Rafael Nadal is the modern player he would least like to play – because he hated playing left-handers.

Lendl is one of the most successful players in history, but two of his biggest rivals were John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors, who were both left-handers.

And that caused a unique problem for Lendl because he claims he never had the chance to play against that particular variation in practice.

He, though, had a novel solution – hire one.

“The most difficult for me to play against would be Rafael Nadal because as a kid, I never got to play against left-handers,” Lendl told the Holding Court podcast when asked who from the modern era he’d least like to face.

“We had no left-handers at our club. That’s also why I hired Tony Roche as he was a leftie.

“He could tell me what left-handers liked and did not like.”

Lendl won eight Grand Slam titles and topped the world rakings for 270 weeks in an absolutely glorious career.


Rafael Nadal in action
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