Junior world number one says it is ‘impossible’ for young players not to consider Rafael Nadal an idol at this point, even if they don’t want to model their own game on his.
Nadal will surely be ending his career just as Vallejo is starting his, but he will hang up his racket having won at least 22 Grand Slam titles as well as a host of other accolades and honours.
One of the greatest aspects of his appeal is his unique style, so it’s unlikely anyone will ever be able to emulate him there. That though, doesn’t stop him being an idol to younger players.
"Well, with Nadal it is impossible for him not to be a bit of an idol,” Vallejo told Punto de Break. “Although in my case I don't like him as much as others because his game is not similar to mine, he is not someone I can copy, although mentally he is an example. But in the rest we have nothing in common.”
Despite feeling he cannot adopt a lot from Rafael Nadal’s game, Paraguayan Vallejo has trained with the Spaniard before so has experienced what it is like to play him.
So how difficult does Nadal make it for opponents on the other side of the net?
"There are no words to explain it,” Vallejo said. “The ball that he sends you is even more uncomfortable than it seems.
“If he already hits hard in games, in training he hits ten times harder.”
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