Tennis News: Rafael Nadal talks about being a role model and accepting criticisms

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Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal of Spain throws his towel back to a ballboy during his men's singles quarter-final match against Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic at the Australian Open 2015 tennis tournament in Melbourne January 27, 2015. Reuters/Athit Perawongmetha

While Rafael Nadal’s play has dipped the past couple of years, the Spanish ace tries to remain grounded saying that he wants to stay as a good role model for young sports fans.

Nadal, speaking in Spanish, stated in an interview with woman.es that athletes have an obligation to behave well because it’s their responsibility to the society as young people look up to them. Nadal added in the same interview that he continues to enjoy playing tennis and that he’s still the same person even after more than a decade in the ATP tour and after winning 14 Grand Slam titles.

The former World No. 1 is one of the few players in the history of the sport to win all four Grand Slam titles in a career. Nadal has dominated the clay court championships in France winning the French Open nine times, from 2005 to 2008 and 2010 to 2014). He has also won the Australian Open (2009), Wimbledon (2008and 2010) and US Open (2010 and 2013).

Nadal also said that he has no problem with people within his team criticising him or his on-court play as he says it’s a vital component in his growth as a player and how his team works together.

Nadal has dropped to no. 7 in the ATP rankings, his lowest in years, winning just three titles in 2015. He also won just four titles in 2014, the last time he won a Grand Slam championship. To compare, Nadal won 10 titles two seasons ago, a year when he won the French Open and the US Open.

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