Rafael Nadal proved once again to be the strongest ever on clay, winning his 12th title in Barcelona after a more difficult path than expected. The former world number 1 did not start the tournament very well, having given a set to both Belarusian Ivashka and revived Kei Nishikori, before moving up a gear this weekend. The final against Stefanos Tsitsipas was nothing short of exciting, with the Spaniard forced into the third set after missing two match points in the second half. Rafa himself had to save a match ball on his serve, also facilitated by a pinch of good luck. A break in the eleventh game decided the fate of the match, reaffirming how difficult it will be for the Next Gen to undermine the three sacred monsters of the modern era. Ugo Humbert, a young promising French tennis player, is also fully aware of this, who at the Australian Open 2021 had come close to the feat against Nick Kyrgios. In an exclusive interview with ‘Bola Amarela’, the Frenchman praised Nadal’s incredible skills on red.
Humbert pays tribute to Rafael Nadal
“Playing the piano is more difficult than playing tennis! But it is even more difficult to beat Rafael Nadal on the clay court!” – Ugo Humbert said. “I started at the age of 5, at the same time as tennis. It was my parents who forced me and my sister to study music. At first it was difficult, but when we started playing well we had more pleasure in the music. It is a very important part of my life. When I was on the premises of the Federation, in Poitiers, I spent almost two years without playing. I was 12 years old. My parents bought me a piano to help me pass the time while recovering from the injury and playing every day. It was always between half an hour and an hour every day. In any tournament that I am in, if there is a piano in the hotel, I always try to play there. But it is not easy now!” – the Frenchman added. Ugo also recalled the beginning of his career: “I went to Poitiers and was there from 12 to 16 years old, I left very early. My parents were amazing, they let me choose between leaving home or staying. I decided to leave, the choice was easy for me because I really wanted to play tennis. But it was complicated because I got injured for two years and I couldn’t play. I saw my friends go to play and I stayed in the room. But it was a good experience and I learned a lot from it.”