Rafael Nadal hailed as a Spanish hero by Tommy Robredo
RAFAEL NADAL’s impact on Spanish tennis has been hailed by Tommy Robredo, who reckons his influence is felt throughout the country.
Nadal is arguably Spain’s most recognisable sports person through his accomplishments on the tennis courts.
The 32-year-old, who has won 17 Grand Slams, also has four Davis Cup winners medals to his name.
Robredo was alongside Nadal for three of those wins and is in a good place to access the 11-time French Open champion’s legacy.
And speaking in an interview with Spanish outlet EFE, Robredo opened up on Nadal’s influence.
“When such a phenomenon exists, there is a logical before and after,” he said.
“It has greatly benefited Spanish tennis. In Spain, we are very accustomed to having champions of everything, but when there isn’t, we talk less about everything.
“Ferrer is a phenomenon but he is not number one in the world and we would not talk so much about those things.
“But with Rafa, he has created more advertising, sponsors and tournaments.
Rafael Nadal and Tommy Robredo together with the Spain Davis Cup team (Image: GETTY)
“Even Madrid, being Rafa Spanish, supports the junior tournaments more.
“That favours us all.”
Last week, Nadal’s uncle and former coach Toni Nadal discussed his nephew’s recent injury problems and said he could be “two or three more years”.
“Rafael wants to continue playing, despite his physical problems,” he told El Pais.
“That is what will continue to be decisive. Until then, who knows.
“Maybe two or three more years.
“What I'm saying is that Rafael is not a tennis player, he's an injured person who plays tennis, and that's very difficult.”