“I had often struggled to contain my…”

Italian tennis player Paolo Lorenzi, 38, admits playing against Rafael Nadal at the Rome Masters was one of the best memories of his career. Lorenzi, ranked No. 121 in the world, faced Nadal on the clay courts of the Rome Masters in 2011.

Nadal, considered the best clay-court player in history, entered the game as the heavy favorite but Lorenzi forced him to work hard for the win.

Former world No. 33 Lorenzi won a tight opening set before 12-time French Open champion Nadal came back to win 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-0 and advance to the knockout stages of final.

Earlier, Lorenzi passed the qualifying event and beat Brazilian Thoma Bellucci in the first round to set up a meeting against Nadal. “It’s a beautiful memory that I carry in me, all my friends were there to see me.

Against Nadal, I wanted to leave a good impression,” Lorenzi told LiveTennis. Lorenzi also added that he played above his level and the game against Nadal helped him realize he could still improve. improve and compete against the best.

Lorenzi had the best years of his tennis career just a few years ago as he won his first ATP title in 2016 and earned his career-high ranking a year later.

The 38-year-old Italian won his first ATP title on the clay courts of Kitzbuhel after defeating Nikoloz Basilashvili in the final. “It was a great satisfaction, the best of my career”, recalls Lorenzi after winning Kitzbühel.

Rafael Nadal is having a brilliant 2022

In his book, ‘Rafael Nadal: My Story’, the 22-time Grand Slam champion commented on his uncle coaching him during his youth.

He said: “So there was fun and magic in my relationship with Toni, even though the mood when we trained was rocky and stern.

And we have had great success. If he hadn’t made me play without water that day, if he hadn’t singled me out for particularly harsh treatment when I was in that group of little children learning the game, if I hadn’t not like I did with the injustice I missed him, maybe I wouldn’t be the player I am today.

Additionally, opening up about his rage, Nadal said: “Often I struggled to contain my rage. “Why is it me and not the other boys who have to sweep the pitch after practice?” I wondered.

“Why do I have to pick up more balls than the others? Why does he yell at me that way when I hit the ball? But I also learned

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