After his extraordinary performance in the fall of 2020, Rafael Nadal was named the runner-up for Sportsman of the Year 2021 at the Laureus World Sports Awards. Rafa received his first Laureus Award in ten years, joining Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic as the only tennis players to have won the award more than once.
Djokovic. In addition to LeBron James, Robert Lewandowski, Lewis Hamilton, and Armand Duplantis, Nadal beat out Joshua Cheptegei for the honor. Having won his 13th Roland Garros title in October 2020, Rafa has earned the recognition. Having won his 20th Major, the Spaniard is now tied with Roger Federer for the most all-time in the sport.
Rafa, holding the trophy aloft, gave a tearful speech about how incredible it was to finally beat Roger after 15 years of competition. Despite only playing in a handful of tournaments in 2020 due to the pandemic, Rafa still made it to Roland Garros, the year’s final Major.
Despite the odds, the Spaniard proved his greatness and made history in October’s Paris. Rafa continued his dominance on clay at age 34, beating all seven of his opponents in straight sets.
Nadal had to battle through six hours of competition against Jannik Sinner and Diego Schwartzman to reach the final. Rafa never lost a Paris final and defeated the No. 1 player in the world with another masterful performance.
After two hours and forty-one minutes, the score was 16-0, 6-2, 7-5. Nadal controlled the pace in the first two sets and prevailed in the third to emerge on top and celebrate one of the highlights of his glorious career. Sincerely, “I want to thank the Laureus A*ademy.”
Rafa considers the role of the mind in athletic performance.
Rafael Nadal‘s mental toughness is a major reason for his success on the court over the past two decades. “One of the most crucial aspects of competition is mental toughness.
Since I was a kid, I’ve been training with my uncle Toni to get stronger both physically and mentally. Then, as my career progressed, I kept up the same level of work, which only got harder as my rivals got better “What Nadal had to say.
“Tennis, as a one-on-one sport, has additional complexities beyond those of other elite sports. It’s possible that your opponent is better than you on any given day, or that they might simply be in better shape than you are. However, a significant portion of the battle is fought within oneself, and this can be very costly.”