Becker and Navratilova disagree on who won the Mutua Madrid Open

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Boris Becker, winner of six Grand Slams throughout his career, wants Rafa Nadal to choose the moment of his retirement because he “likes to compete” in an unusual way: “Nadal doesn’t play tennis, he works in tennis.”

For a sports legend, the key is to be able to retire when one decides to“said the German at a press conference in Madrid on the occasion of the Laureus Awards that will be presented on Monday in the Spanish capital.

For Becker, it would be fair for Nadal to achieve good results this year in the two main events at Roland Garros: the Grand Slam and the Olympic Games.

The former world tennis number one indicated that Nadal, who will play in the Madrid tournament next week, never wins matches “easy”, as Roger Federer’s impression of doing so, but through hard work.

Nadal doesn’t play tennis, he works in tennis. “He loves to compete and it won’t be easy for him to find something that will motivate him like tennis,” he said.

Becker shared an appearance with another tennis legend, Martina Navratilova, both a member of the Laureus Academy, who also had words of admiration for Nadal.

I never thought I would make it to 30 with such physical tennis, and here it is. “His way of approaching the sport has influenced generations to come.”, said. “For not giving up the ball because of losing, but also for having his opponent as his worst opponent, but making him a best friend when he leaves the court. This is an example of dedication, of concentration…” added by Navratilova.

Becker and Navratilovamembers of the Laureus Academy, disagree about their favorite players at the moment.

For Navratilova, “you have to be with Carlos Alcaraz”; For Becker, the Italian Jannik Sinner is the best and, besides, he joked, redheads are there to help each other.

You have to be with Carlos Alcaraz“said the winner of 18 Grand Slam singles. “He is a complete player, he takes tennis to another level of speed. Sometimes he was surprised by his own blows“.

Becker thinks the Spanish is more impressive, but the Sinner has the “last word” in games.

We redheads work together” he said. “I love Sinner, his attitude, win or lose. I think that’s the best. Besides, I speak to him in German.”

But Becker admitted that the last Wimbledon final that Alcaraz won against Novak Djokovic was “the most exciting match in recent years.”

“Her rivalry with Sinner is great for tennis. Like Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka, they will take women’s tennis to a new level,” he added.

Martina Navratilova once again expressed displeasure with the agreement signed by the WTA for the finals of the women’s circuit to be held in Saudi Arabia between 2024 and 2026.

“Chris Evert and I have been clear,” he said of his criticism of the Asian country for its lack of protection for the rights of women and LGBTI people.

“It doesn’t affect us because we don’t play anymore. The players have already made a decision. Someone justified not wanting to get involved in politics. But sport is politics. Well, we’ll see how it works,” said Navratilova, who asked for “more unity” between the ATP and WTA and practical changes, such as not playing different balls every week.

“Has anyone thought about football yet?”

Navratilova said Garbiñe Muguruza’s retirement, which the Spanish player announced Friday in Madrid, “is good for the Laureus Academy,” which she joined, “but sad for tennis.”

“He’s still very young… But there are players who reach 40 or 45 and others who don’t… Garbiñe made a big contribution to the Academy, it’s good to incorporate younger players,” he said.

She also celebrated that “more and more women are competing and making money around the world,” and in the same way that seeing a female referee in an NBA game no longer generates headlines, she hopes it won’t. as soon as he is in front of the men’s bench.

In this Olympic year, both Becker and Navratilova shared their memories of the Games, in the German’s case the gold medal she won in Barcelona’92.

“I was in five German Olympic teams and I only played once because of injuries. When you’re active, you only think about winning and your next rival, and when you retire, you appreciate the titles you’ve won. If you’re like of all sports “As in my case, the Games are the greatest spectacle,” he said.

Navratilova was a doubles Olympian in Athens 2004 at the age of 47, after being unable to compete due to contractual issues. He lost in the quarterfinals but remembers it as an amazing experience.

“The most interesting thing for me at the inauguration was to see the athletes in that kind of physicality and trying to guess, based on their bodies, what sport they were doing,” he said.

Source: La Verdad

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