Tennis

Uncle Toni has a surprise reaction to Rafa Nadal's US Open win

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Rafael Nadal won his third US Open title on Sunday, confirming his status as the current men's world number 1.

It was the final major tournament of the year, with Nadal adding to his French Open win, and Roger Federer winning Wimbledon and the Australian Open.

Both of these tennis superstars have dominated the game for the last decade, however, their recent successes have been limited.

In recent years, we have seen two other tennis superstars dominate the game - Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.

Some tennis fans would admit that they would not have expected to see Rafa and Roger sharing the major trophies this year. 

The simple answer as to why neither Andy nor Novak won at Flushing Meadows was because they weren't there.

Both of them suffered injuries ruling them out of the 2017 US Open, along with other tennis stars such as Stan Wawvrinka (winner in 2016), Milos Raonic, and Kei Nishikori.

It would therefore seem Rafa had an easier route to the final than normal. In fact, Rafa did not meet a top 50 opponent until facing Juan Martin del Potro (24th seed) in the semi-final, and did not face a top 20 seed opponent during the entire competition.

Of course, it is not Rafa's choice who he faces or not, but it does seem fans are putting a little asterisk on Nadal's 2017 US Open triumph.

And, it wasn't just the fans that played down Rafa's success. Toni Nadal, Rafa's uncle and coach, described Rafa's success as 'nothing special' in a recent interview.

Toni admitted: "For me it's nothing special [to finish with a victory].

"No different than the other times when he won tournament of the grand slam.

"This tournament was different because we play against [Alexandr] Dolgopolov, [Andrey] Rublev, good players but not the top.

"I don't want to say anything bad for our opponents, but this time some [got injured] before playing -- Murray, Djokovic, Wawrinka, Nishikori, Raonic. And then Federer lose. But I think Rafael has played well and was the best of the people who has played." 

We may have to wait and see how successful the Spaniard is in 2018, when the current top 10 ranked players are back, and he's under the guidance of his new coach, former world number 1 Carlos Moya, before we start to believe Rafael Nadal is back to his best.

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Topics:
Maria Sharapova
Novak Djokovic
US Open Tennis
Andy Murray
Tennis
Rafael Nadal
Roger Federer

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