Rafael Nadal: Why Yannick Noah changed his tune on the ‘Raging Bull’

Rafael Nadal plays a shot Credit: Alamy
Rafael Nadal plays a shot Credit: Alamy

French legend Yannick Noah has held an evolving view of Spain’s Rafael Nadal and recently expressed his admiration for the ‘Raging Bull’.

Noah and Nadal have had a complicated relationship stemming from a newspaper article the former wrote back in 2011.

Nadal took a dim view of the French joker’s jibes at the Spaniard which appeared to be aimed at playing on sporting rivalry between France and their neighbours.

Nadal has since patched things up with Noah, who once effectively accused him of doping but is now in awe of the 22-time Grand Slam winner’s athleticism, which he believes is the result of tireless work.

Noah says that Nadal’s performance is remarkable for a man of his age, no less for a man who has played a mountain of tennis.

“I don’t know, 35, so obviously that captures the imagination. It is extraordinary. At his age, I could no longer walk. He physically dominates the guys, I find that extraordinary,” Noah said on the Super Moscato show.

“The level of play at the end of the final. . . I wondered if it was not PlayStation. It was amazing,” said Noah of Nadal’s incredible comeback victory over Daniil Medvedev in the Australian Open final.

Noah claims that he doesn’t care who the so-called GOAT is, though he believes the debate will rage on forever regardless of the results in the next few years.

He feels that discussion should not be confined to the three men who have left their indelible mark on the world of tennis in the current era to become known as the big three.

Noah feels that perhaps someone like Bjorn Borg should be talked about in the same breath as the big three with the Swede also changing the game forever.

“The GOAT? Djokovic is on stand-by so we have to see.

“Whether there is one who has won 22 or 21 0r 20 is completely abstract, but what I find wonderful are the matches they deliver.

“Federer, I don’t know if he will come back, it will be difficult for him, but Djokovic is still in the race. But after knowing who the GOAT is, I don’t care. Some will highlight the aesthetic side of Federer, others the courage of Nadal. There is also Borg who stopped at 26 and who had won I don’t know how many.”

Rafael Nadal is set to get back into action at the ATP Tour Finals having opted not to turn out at the Paris Masters.

Nadal has hinted that he may not continue playing for much longer isiing he wants to be in Turin as he doesn’t know how many more time he will get to play in the Tour Finals.

The Spanish veteran added a pair of Grand Slam wins to his record this year even after a recurrence of the debilitating condition Muller-Weiss disease, and he took the French Open with a foot numbed by pain-killing injections.

READ MORE: Rafael Nadal insists he is ‘excited’ to play at ATP Finals – ‘You never know when it is going to be the last’

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