"I only knew Roger Federer" says Next Gen Finals star Abdullah Shelbayh but Rafael Nadal inspired him to play left handed

Monday, 27 November 2023 at 09:00
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Upcoming tennis sensation Abdullah Shelbayh revealed the moment he was inspired by Spain’s Rafael Nadal.
The 37-year-old is often regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of men’s singles tennis in the Open era, having won as many as 22 Grand Slam titles in his career.
His most successful competition has been the French Open where he has lifted the title 14 times which is also a record in the competition’s history. It is because of this reason, the Spaniard is famous as the ‘King of Clay’.
Jordan’s Shelbayh, who is one of the participants in the upcoming NEXT Gen ATP Finals, was recently quoted in a report where he talked about how he was inspired by Nadal to start playing tennis with his left hand.
“My first memory of watching tennis was Roger Federer,” he said. “I used to play with the right and one-hand backhand as well because of Roger, I didn’t know who Rafael Nadal was.I saw one guy playing Roger because I only knew Roger back then. Then I saw one guy playing with the left hand [Nadal] and later that day I started to play with the left hand."
Shelbayh will face France’s Luca Van Assche in the first Group match of the competition on Monday.

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