During a recent appearance on the Control the Controllables podcast, tennis coach Jofre Porta spoke about Rafael Nadal’s early days in tennis and his development into one of the greatest players of all time. Porta attributed Nadal’s success to two factors: his own work ethic and his family’s understanding of the sport.
“We start with Rafa when he was nine, when I come back I was in the Spanish Federation and Toni was happy. Obviously, he was training but if we speak only about the talent, if we don’t speak about the technical ability, we need to work,” the coach said.
“I think one of the best things of Rafa was the education of the family. Toni was special and he prepared him for the effort. I think these kind of things help so much. One is the practice and the other is the education of the family, the environment.”
Ladies and gentlemen:
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Rafael Nadal worked with his uncle Toni until 2017. The two won 16 Majors together, making them the second-most successful player-coach partnership in men’s tennis.
Rafael Nadal had a fantastic combination of technical ability, physicality and mental strength: Jofre Porta
During the podcast, Porta also explained some of the keys to Nadal’s success. According to the coach, it was not only natural talent, but also mental fortitude and physical prowess that made the Spaniard such a phenomenon.
“A big, big percentage depends on talent of the guy. Rafa was not only technical talent, he had a fantastic cordination of his talent and the mental we don’t need to speak about and the physical is crazy,” he said.
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The 35-year-old is currently competing at the Madrid Open. He defeated Miomir Kecmanovic in straightforward fashion in his opener, but was put to the test by David Goffin in the third round.
The Spaniard saved four match points, before prevailing in a final-set tie-break to book a quarterfinal showdown with teenage sensation Carlos Alcaraz.