At 34 years old and being the number three in the world, Rafael Nadal still feels that he has a way to go on the professional circuit before hanging up his racket. The Spanish tennis player believes that “when my career ends, we will have enough time to remember my achievements and understand my place in tennis history.
I never thought that I would win as many titles as I did, so I am very grateful and happy for all that I have achieved in my career.” As long as I am healthy and able to compete, I intend to enjoy my life in tennis and always give the 100 percent.
There is always room for improvement, but you have to stay in shape and to do so you have to rethink the intensity of training sessions and matches, ”said the winner of 20 Grand Slams. Despite all the success he has achieved on the track, Nadal considers that the greatest impact is the image he leaves for the new generations.
“The most important thing is to be remembered as a good person. In the end, it is the most relevant. The victories, the titles and the memorable moments are important, but everything passes. The person you were is the one who remains forever,” he explained.
For now Rafa is preparing for what will be the European tour on brick dust, where he has historically fared better and has reaped much of his successes. His great objective is to win Roland Garros again, where he is clearly the main favorite to conquer it and thus obtain his “great” number 21.
Former World No. 26 Victor Hanescu recently described what it felt like to face 20-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal on the court. Hanescu squared off against Nadal four times in main draw matches during his playing days, losing in straight sets each time.
Hanescu praises Rafael Nadal’s attitude
“It’s incredible to play against Rafael Nadal, it’s impressive,” Victor Hanescu said. “There were times when I couldn’t imagine how a person can move so fast and get to some balls that were not possible for others.
At that moment, you realize that you have someone extraordinary in front of you.” Hanescu, who reached his lone Grand Slam quarterfinal at the 2005 French Open, also asserted that Nadal’s success didn’t change his intrinsic humility and down-to-earth nature.
“I remember I was at the Beijing Olympics,” the 39-year-old added. “At the opening ceremony, Nadal was next to our group. He was surrounded by hundreds of athletes who wanted to take a picture with him. Nadal was taking pictures with everyone, he never said he didn’t feel like it or couldn’t. He took pictures with everyone and that shows what kind of man he is.”