Rafael Nadal missed three months of the ATP ranking in 2004 due to injuries, but he still managed to win the inaugural ATP event in Sopot in August. In the Davis Cup final in Seville at the conclusion of the year, the young player helped Spain defeat the United States and garnered momentum for 2005.
Nadal improved in the Australian Open, when he reached the fourth round of a Major for the first time after underperforming in Doha and Auckland. Rafa gained momentum before the South American clay tour, when he won championships in Costa do Sauipe and Acapulco, by losing to Lleyton Hewitt in five sets.
Rafa was unable to compete in Indian Wells due to illness, and he arrived in Miami just outside the top 30. The Spaniard played his best tennis in Florida to advance to the championship match where he stunned Roger Federer a year earlier.
As the second-youngest Masters 1000 finalist after Michael Chang, Rafa overcame Rainer Schuettler, Fernando Verdasco, Ivan Ljubicic, Thomas Johansson, and David Ferrer to earn a rematch with Roger Federer in the race for the first noteworthy victory.
After a fierce struggle, Roger won 2-6, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5), 6-3, 6-1 in three hours and forty-three minutes, putting out one of his strongest comebacks to date. to be dropping two sets to 0 and the third 4-1! The Swiss won the third set tie break after falling down 5-3 and never looked back the rest of the way. They kept the pressure on the other team and won the match in a spectacular fashion in the championship set.
At 5-4 in the third set and once more in the tie break, Nadal was just two points away from defeat. However, he was unable to make the decisive move and defeat Roger in Miami for the second consecutive year.
The Canadian Open will feature Rafa Nadal.
Rafael Nadal has been acclaimed by John McEnroe as the best fighter in the history of the sport, and the tennis legend has said that young people should look to the Spaniard as an example of what it takes to be a champion.
In an exclusive interview with Tennis365, McEnroe said, “I’ve never seen anyone like him. “Until I watched Rafael Nadal, I felt Jimmy Connors had made an effort. This is absurd. And by a wide margin, that is his best characteristic.
We all agree that the guy is an excellent player. People strive to be like him, but it’s incredibly challenging to go out there and put in that kind of work, you know, match in and match out, game in and game out.
If not, everyone would carry it out. You could just tell Nick Kyrgios, “Go out and give it your all, and you’ll be No. 2 or No. 3 in the world,” as an example. Well, I suppose he would do it if it were that simple. But you understand that it isn’t for him.