The ATP site used to feature tennis player blogs from different tournaments. It’s a shame they don’t update them anymore. I was reminded of it when Nadal posted a photo of himself training in Mallorca with Frederico Silva, a 16-year old from Portugal.
At Roland Garros in 2006, Nadal wrote about his day for the ATP blog:
I warmed up again with Martin del Potro. For those of you who don’t know him, he is a very tall Argentinean player that plays really good. I think he is over 1m 90. You will hear that name in the future. He left today to Buenos Aires so I am changing tomorrow to another partner to hit with.
Actually Rafa, he is almost 2m tall and by now you know his name is Juan Martin, not Martin. I get it though, you were defending champion that year (and almost every year after that), thus too busy to take down names 😉
The younger hitting partners must relish the chance to hit with a top player. 2006 was a full two years before JMDP’s breakout year. It seems Nadal had a canny eye for spotting DelPo’s potential at 17-years old. It’s also reassuring to see a talented junior make the successful leap to the ATP tour. I find it curious when a top junior ends up struggling on the pro tour. Nadal was quite the opposite case and JMDP made a successful transition himself. Let’s keep an eye out for Frederico Silva from Portugal in the coming years. If that is, in fact, his real name. It could well be Luis-Frederico or Gustavo-Frederico.