Rafael Nadal continues to make history in tennis after winning this Sunday his 14th title at Roland Garros. The 36-year-old Spaniard reached his Grand Slam number 22 and takes two to the Serbian Novak Djokovic and to the swiss Roger Federer. Hours passed and calmer he reflected on what he had achieved and compared himself with other great elite stars worldwide, including Leo Messi. In addition, he answered whether or not he feels like the best tennis player in history, and analyzed other issues.
“I really appreciate the support, the affection and all the nice words you say about me. I am the first who would like to continue playing and I will do my best to make it so”, he assured in an interview with the program “The Match”of the Cope chain. His answer was when asked what was going to happen to his career due to the chronic pain he suffers in his left foot.
“People who like sports don’t like it when someone they admire retires. You don’t want Messi or Tiger Woods to retire. I like to see them play on TV and I would like to continue watching them. When (Zinedine) Zidane retired, I did not want him to retire… In the end, one wants to see those athletes he admires and who make us happy”, he underlined.
It should be noted that Nadal is a fan of Real Madrid and many times suffered from Messi in the classics against Barcelona. Of course, the Mallorcan respects and recognizes the trajectory of the Argentine crack, and with his words he made his thoughts clear with his praise.
On the other hand, Rafa assured that he does not feel like the best tennis player in history and made it clear what is important for him in his career. “Honestly, I don’t think about that. In my heart, I don’t care that much. I think it doesn’t matter. I think we all fulfill our dreams, I fulfilled my dreams. I enjoy what I do. I understand the question and I know that the press and the people always care a lot about these things but, in a way, I am an important part of the history of the sport and that makes me feel proud and happy, in the end, it does not matter much”, responded in dialogue with CNN.
“I have always considered myself a very normal guy; if I did it, maybe someone else can do it,” he added. “It is obvious that the record of 22 Grand Slams is something much more possible, that someone can increase that record. I’m sure that will happen; 14 Roland Garros is something… very difficult”, he stressed.
In the 17 years between Nadal’s first title and his most recent French Open title, he only lost three matches on the Paris courts: two against Djokovic, one in last year’s semi-finals, and one against Robin Soderling.
With victory on Sunday, Nadal, who turned 36 on Friday, also achieved another milestone, which is to be the longest-serving men’s champion in the Parisian tournament and it was also the first time he won the Australian Open and the French Open in the same season. , which allowed him to surpass the records of Federer and Djokovic in the Grand Slam.
“Of course, I want to be the player with (the most) Grand Slams in history, that’s competition,” he clarified. “But It’s not something that obsesses me and it’s not something that makes me change my mind… Honestly, it’s something that doesn’t bother me if Novak wins 23 and I keep 22. I think my happiness won’t change at all, not even one percent.” .
“After the pandemic, something happened to my foot. I am not able to bear the pain to play often and even train”, he told about the inconveniences that he went through with his injuries and that they are still a mishap.
“The only thing I can say is that going through all these challenges, I always keep the passion to keep going and always keep the love for the game,” he added. “I have always wanted to move on. That’s probably why I’m in the position I’m in today,” she concluded.