Rafael Nadal started the year in the best possible way. The Spanish player returned from injury and returned to winning ways, first and foremost conquering the Melbourne ATP 250. Same city, different trophy: the Spaniard won the Australian Open in Melbourne, beating the Russian Daniil Medvedev in the final and taking the Grand Slam title number 21.
Boris Becker, in an interview with RTVE, spoke about the feat accomplished by Rafael Nadal. “Rafa has shown once again that he is a fighter, a champion, a formidable personality to play as he did and come back from a very complicated final,” commented the German.
The former number one exalts the 35-year-old Spaniard, crowning him as the best of his times: “Now he is the most successful tennis player in history, which is remarkable, given that a few weeks ago there were three and now there are only one.
I’m sure this will affect Novak and Roger, they will both want to win another Grand Slam or even two, as Rafa will be the big favorite for the next Roland Garros.” Becker then spoke of the Big3, comparing them to what was his generation of him: “They are three legends in all respects, I never thought that three players of this level could meet at the same time.
In my day the record was held by Pete Sampras with 14 Grand Slams, but now there are three players with 20 Grand Slams or more, it is an incredible record that is still difficult to assimilate. An incredible record for the world of tennis, which at the moment is healthier than ever thanks to the three of them, we hope they can continue to compete for many more years.”
Becker on the topic of mental health
Boris Becker’s interview with RTVE then focused on an important aspect of recent years: mental health. “It is good that the younger players open up and talk about the problems they have in dealing with the pressure of the competition,” said the German.
“In my day if you talked about it they called you weak, they told you you weren’t strong enough, but you weren’t. There is a real problem with mental health and it’s good that players are talking about it.
Not everything is as easy as it seems in this world, the tennis court is a very lonely place, even if you have your team behind you, but you are alone. Sometimes the world you carry on your shoulders is very heavy, so for your mental health it is very important to be able to talk about it and also to know when to say enough.”