Rafael Nadal reveals secret behind his fierce competitive streak as US Open looms

Rafael Nadal in action

Rafael Nadal believes that a relatively humble upbringing was the key ingredient in his famed fierce competitive streak that has seen him become one of the undoubted all-time tennis greats.

Nadal has 18 Grand Slam titles to his name, just two behind Roger Federer’s record of 20, many of which have been won through a willingness to battle more than his technical brilliance.

And that is something that Nadal puts down to hos youth, where he was given less protection than sporting prodigies perhaps receive today.

“You need to be prepared for the tough moments,” he said.

“If you overprotect the young kids when they have problems – because in life you are going to have problems at some point – probably they are not very well-prepared.

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“Probably that’s one of the reasons I have been able to be very competitive at very young stages of my career.

“I probably got a normal education, not like superstar education. I just played on the street with my friends.

“I had a very really normal life. That helps you to grow with the normal education.”

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