Facing Nadal: Djokovic and Cash Open Up

Discussion in 'Pro Tennis (Mens)' started by scoop, Oct 23, 2015.

  1. scoop

    scoop Futures Player

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    Tennis journalist Mark ‘Scoop’ Malinowski has published his fourth tennis book, Facing Nadal: Symposium of a Champion available from Amazon.

    This first in a series of three book excerpts includes insider views from Novak Djokovic and Pat Cash.

    Novak Djokovic:
    “I think challenges, big challenges that I had in my career changed me in a positive way as a player. Because of Rafa and because of Roger I am what I am today, you know, in a way, because when I reached the No. 3 in the world and won the first Grand Slam title in 2008, the years after that I struggled a lot mentally to overcome the doubts that I had. And all the big matches I lost to these guys was consistent but not winning the big matches, and then they made me understand what I need to do on the court. I worked hard, and, you know, it’s paying dividends, I guess, in the last couple of years. You know, obviously it’s not easy when you’re playing a top rival at the finals of any tournament, but if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best, you know. You have to win against the best players in the world. That’s the biggest challenge you can have.”

    Pat Cash:
    “I played Nadal when he was a few weeks from being fifteen. In Mallorca. Boris Becker pulled out of the senior match and so they asked me last minute to come in and play, and play the world junior champion. And I said, ‘Yeah sure. I don’t mind playing. The show must go on.’ A bit of entertainment. I got a great photo of him, actually of us together. He played the same way. Obviously, he didn’t hit the ball as hard then. But he played the same intensity, top spin. I was kind of shocked by it all [smiles].”


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    “As a young kid his age, it wasn’t as if it was something I couldn’t handle but, I mean, the crowd was quite amused when he won the first set against me. And I was sort of being nice to him, Okay, no more Mister Nice Guy. Because this kid is really good. He’ll beat me if he can. It’s not sort of like a fun game. He won the first set and the crowd thought it was hilarious. They were roaring for us. So we were on the court together, so I started chip-charging, serve and volley, that sort of stuff, won the second set pretty comfortably – 6-2 I think. The ten-point tiebreaker. As I said before, 99% of the kids would have choked. And fallen apart. And he was just tearing everywhere. All over the court. And hit some unbelievable winners. And you now, then I was 38, I was still hitting the ball pretty well.”

    “And so I lost that match. I don’t remember what the score was. It was close. He didn’t get nervous or anything. Obviously, he didn’t have anything to lose. But I came in the locker room after, the guys sort of looked at me, just to look at my reaction. And my reaction was losing to a fourteen year old. And I just sort of looked at them, Wow, this kid is something else…”

    Over 50 ATP players – including Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Pat Cash, Stefan Kozlov, Francis Tiafoe, Radek Stepanek, Ivan Ljubicic, James Blake, Marat Safin, etc. – describe in detail the actual experience of playing tennis against Rafael Nadal. Also, this book includes Nadal interviews, media, celebrity, fan, insider perspectives.

    About the Author:

    Mark Scoop Malinowski has written about tennis for ATPWORLDTOUR.COM, TENNIS Magazine, Tennis Week, Tennisweek.com, Ace Magazine of U.K. Australian Tennis Magazine, ATPWorldTour.com, Tennis View, Australian Open Official Program, Tennis-prose.com, CBSsportsline.com, ESPNSportszone.com, New York Tennis, Totally Tennis Magazine, The Daily Record of Morris County, N.J., TheBiofile.com, Florida Tennis, South Asia Life & Times Magazine. His previous tennis books were “Marcelo Rios: The Man We Barely Knew”, “Facing Hewitt”, and “Facing Federer: Symposium of a Champion.”

    Click here to visit Amazon.com

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  2. britbox

    britbox Multiple Major Winner

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    The story with Pat Cash is interesting.  I'd heard about it several times, but never heard it straight from the horses mouth.

    Thanks @scoop.
     
  3. Federberg

    Federberg Multiple Major Winner

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    Very interesting indeed!
     
  4. Denis

    Denis Masters Champion

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    I would have liked to see that cash - Nadal match :)
     
  5. Mastoor

    Mastoor Masters Champion

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    If you want to find out how Djokowic and Cash got into the same book, read the book! As simple as that.

     

     

     

     

     

     
     
  6. Moxie

    Moxie Multiple Major Winner

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    The Cash anecdote is kind of classic, and yes, good to hear it from his POV.  Early Rafa demonstrating his mentality and commitment.  Along those lines, in terms of "facing Rafa," I offer this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGy0x3KKc6c

    It's a little old, and wanders around a bit, but gets to Scoop's point.  Companion to the other thread about how Nadal has expressed his anxieties over the last year+.
     
  7. scoop

    scoop Futures Player

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    Thanks for the comments, everybody - was fortunate enough to speak with Cash about this at the miami open this year,  he was doing a clinic with a sponsor and politely said he couldn't do it, then about two hours later I walked by him by transportation by the media center and he agreed to talk then - actually first we talked about Facing mcenroe (next book) then I suddenly remembered that he played young Rafa and he shared the entire story and then some more - very lucky day to get that great story and it's one of the highlights of the book actually - these kinds of young phenom vs aging legend matches are always fascinating - young teen Arias played a set with Rod Laver in Buffalo and was winning but then Rocket raised his game out of necessity :)
     
  8. Mastoor

    Mastoor Masters Champion

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    I didn't understand how the video is related to Nadal's anxieties in last year.

    I'd like to point out that I also saw Berdych replying "Djokovic for me" when he was asked the same question on another occasion. His h2h with both players is horrible (19-4 and 19-2) so no wonder he has hard time choosing one.
     
  9. Moxie

    Moxie Multiple Major Winner

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    Mastoor, keep your threads straight, friend. ;-) This is the Nadal one about what a tough hombre he used to be to play. The Marca.com one is all about the anxieties. And yes, I figured the video had a little something for everybody.
     
  10. Mastoor

    Mastoor Masters Champion

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    I didn't talk about anxieties, neither I intend to in this or any other threads. I only asked what the video has to do with the anxieties when you mentioned it.

     
     
  11. Moxie

    Moxie Multiple Major Winner

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    I see. I guess instead of "companion" to the anxieties thread that it should have been an "adverse" to that thread.
     
  12. Moxie

    Moxie Multiple Major Winner

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    I see. I guess instead of “companion” to the anxieties thread that it should have been an “adverse” to that thread.
     
  13. Mastoor

    Mastoor Masters Champion

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    I didn’t talk about anxieties, neither I intend to in this or any other threads. I only asked what the video has to do with the anxieties when you mentioned it.
     
  14. Moxie

    Moxie Multiple Major Winner

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    Mastoor, keep your threads straight, friend. This is the Nadal one about what a tough hombre he used to be to play. The Marca.com one is all about the anxieties. And yes, I figured the video had a little something for everybody.
     
  15. Mastoor

    Mastoor Masters Champion

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    Moxie:
    I didn’t understand how the video is related to Nadal’s anxieties in last year.

    I’d like to point out that I also saw Berdych replying “Djokovic for me” when he was asked the same question on another occasion. His h2h with both players is horrible (19-4 and 19-2) so no wonder he has hard time choosing one.
     
  16. Moxie

    Moxie Multiple Major Winner

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    The Cash anecdote is kind of classic, and yes, good to hear it from his POV. Early Rafa demonstrating his mentality and commitment. Along those lines, in terms of “facing Rafa,” I offer this:



    It’s a little old, and wanders around a bit, but gets to Scoop’s point. Companion to the other thread about how Nadal has expressed his anxieties over the last year+.
     
  17. Mastoor

    Mastoor Masters Champion

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    If you want to find out how Djokowic and Cash got into the same book, read the book! As simple as that.
     
  18. Denis

    Denis Masters Champion

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    I would have liked to see that cash – Nadal match :)
     
  19. britbox

    britbox Multiple Major Winner

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    The story with Pat Cash is interesting. I’d heard about it several times, but never heard it straight from the horses mouth.

    Thanks scoop
     
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