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By Richard Pagliaro | Friday, September 29, 2017

Rafael Nadal, Steve Nash

"I really feel like Nadal is right there as the toughest athlete in any sport,” two-time NBA all-star Steve Nash said.

Photo credit: @RCD_Mallorca

Reunions, returns, rehab and role play from tennis fandom's top philanthropist are among our favorite tweets and Instagram posts from the week that was in tennis.

Watch: Federer on Laver Cup Highs and Lows

Welcome back Juan Martin del Potro! The US Open semifinalist looks sharp preparing for his China Open return.

Guga Kuerten is a good-humored doctor with no remedy for del Potro and Pablo Carreno Busta in a new Peugot ad.

Two-time NBA MVP and lifelong tennis fanatic Steve Nash visited Rafael Nadal at his Academy on Mallorca.

Nash, who owns a share of Real Mallorca soccer team, cites Nadal, Roger Federer and John McEnroe as his three favorite players.

The 16-time Grand Slam champion's mental strength is among the most profound in sport, said Nash.

“I really feel like Nadal is right there as the toughest athlete in any sport,” Nash said. “He is mentally so strong. He digs so deep. I respect Nadal as much as any athlete in any sport for his mentality.”


Rafa x Luca x @rcdmallorcaoficial

A post shared by stephennash (@stephennash) on

Nash grew up playing all sports, including tennis, and sees several similarities between tennis and basketball.

“It's not not hard to find similarities: there's physicality in both and though there's no contact in tennis as in basketball, endurance, strength, flexibility and mobility are all assets in tennis and basketball,” Nash said. “I think creativity and vision and the idea of finding angles are also very similar.

“Like in all sports the biggest factor, I think, in tennis is the mentality of the player—their mental toughness. The ability to cope with different situations is so important. It's completely open and on the line in tennis as in basketball. The difference is in basketball you're processing 10 or more personalities on court whereas in tennis you're processing two.”

Sorana Cirstea shared a striking look.


A post shared by Sorana Cirstea (@soranacirstea) on

Denis Istomin is more invigorating than espresso.

Baby Leo loving the cuddles with mom Victoria Azarenka.

Cartoon Stan Wawrinka was thrilled to give crutches the boot—saying good-bye to the wine and pizza and hello fruits and veggies next on the Man’s menu.

Grigor Dimitrov showed selfie face at the China Open.

In China, Mischa Zverev opted for some traditional treatment for his cranky back.

The positive power of pome can be yours on a daily basis: Dominika Cibulkova launched her 2018 diary-day planner with positive motivational messages from Domi.

The first week of fall was rehab time for Kei Nishikori.

Serena showed off her new braids and sculpted post-pregnancy physique.


A post shared by Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) on

A day before she celebrates her 37th birthday, Martina Hingis was busy doing the victory dance in Wuhan.


finals, here we come! @latishayjchan @wta @wuhanopen

A post shared by Martina Hingis (@martinahingis80) on

A sharp-dressed Novak Djokovic looks runway-ready for the Lacoste Spring-Summer 2018 show in Paris.

A tweener with handcuffs.

Billie Jean King back when it all began.

Tennis super fan Bill Gates bringing a buff look to the Bobby Riggs role.

Laughter is the best launching pad to the weekend.


#HappyFriday! ๐Ÿ˜œ

A post shared by Billie Jean King (@billiejeanking) on


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