Rafael Nadal says it is a love for tennis which is one of the key reasons for the longevity and success he has enjoyed with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.
Nadal, Federer and Djokovic have had unparalleled success in the men’s game, winning a combined 56 Grand Slams.
Nadal and Djokovic are approaching their mid-thirties while Federer will turn 39 in August yet they still remain as hungry as ever, enthused by the challenge provided by the latest crop of talent.
Speaking in an interview with ESPN, Nadal was asked to give the secret to the success of the ‘Big Three’ and the Spaniard explained their careers would not have been the same for two simple reasons.
“We can talk about many technical things, but the most important thing is the love for tennis that the three of us feel because, without all that, everything else is not possible,” he said.
“I think what makes the greats of sport really great is the desire and passion to do what they do and to be better.
“With that and the right people in our environment, we have found the way to always improve.”
Meanwhile, former British No 1 Greg Rusedski has called on tennis officials to do whatever they can to resume the season, even if it means excluded fans.
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Due to the coronavirus pandemic, no tennis has been played since March and a decision will be made in June over whether it will resume in August.
And Rusedski feels players will need to get used to matches without fans for the foreseeable future.
“Roger expressed his views on wanting fans there, but I would definitely be willing to come back now if I was still on the tour,” he told Tennis365.
“I look at the new-look Davis Cup finals last year and even though it was a fantastic first year for the new-look Davis Cup with an amazing final, let’s not forget how they blacked out the fans because there were low crowds outside of the matches featuring the hosts Spain. No one complained about the matches not having too many fans in there because the tennis was spectacular, so we can play our sport without fans.
“The first example of sport coming back in the UK will be the Premier League and I’m assuming that will start up next month.
“Football has much more contact than tennis and if they can get matches back on, there’s no reason why we can’t do that same in tennis.
“To get any live sport back on television would be welcome for a number of reasons and as tennis and golf are the two easiest sports to play while observing social distancing guidelines, we need to look at how we do it.
“If you are going to try and experiment to get sports back, then tennis and golf are the two sports we should do it with.”
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