Nadal, after achieving his 21st Grand Slamthe fact that makes him the most successful male tennis player of history regarding majors, has attended the media from Manacor. After showing the trophy achieved at the Australian Open to all presentthese have been his words.
Exhaustion after winning: “In the end, I ended up very tired. The best way to try not to be very, very bad the next day is to try to do active recovery and doing a little bit of cycling helps. And take the time to talk with the team about the things that had been done well and no. Rod Laver came along and he’s a historical figure in our sport. He turned professional for a few years and didn’t compete in all the Grand Slams he could have won. I’ve agreed with him, he’s a legend in our sport, he’s always at the Australian Open, the court is named after him, and I’ve talked to him many times, he comes over, congratulates you, we talk a bit about the match and then we arrange to meet in Indian Wells, which is the next event he usually goes to. go. An ordinary conversation. I was excited”.
Mentality to come back: “In retrospect, everything is very nice, beautiful. Above all, when it ends like this. At 6-2, 7-6, 0-40, the reality is that I also thought that the issue was very, very complicated. But hey, you keep playing and you can’t say it’s done. Think about the next point, try to stay in the game… Tennis has one thing and you know from experience. Because of the way tennis has to score, normally it always gives you something option, and more so in games that are very important. If you stay close on the scoreboard, when there is an option, when it comes to winning there is always that vertigo and we all have it. If you stay close, there may be some option. And whatever seems impossible at some point, with the minimum winning percentage, unlike other sports you can go from being in an impossible situation to a very different one. You play two sets to one and the match starts again. You don’t become favourite, but it can change. Tennis always gives you options.”
Airport with your name: “If the people who wear it think it’s ideal, I’m delighted, but I haven’t received any news about it. If the people who wear it think it’s positive for the island, they’re delighted, an honour.”
First thoughts after winning: “I don’t know. You can’t think clearly at that moment. You are in a moment of maximum tension and exhaustion. In the end, for me, it was a very important match, there is no denying it, but being in the situation was already a gift I’m not going to deny that I was nervous before the final, because I know I’m risking something very important, but it’s also true that just like other years you arrive in Australia very prepared, this year everything has been turned upside down. bad, with too many problems, without training well, also the virus arrived when I had been training well for a week… 10 days locked up at home which, normally, is something critical and in my situation, which was already just right, it becomes something dramatic. Circumstances have arisen and the time that was least expected has happened. I have played with self-confidence, with enthusiasm and with joy. As in all tournaments. There are key, hard moments, like in the heat stroke against Shapovalov, that the fifth set is saved I don’t know how… Let it be holding on a physical level is something that was very difficult to imagine.
Next schedule: “My first calendar is to analyze how I am. See how my body is, let a few days go by and see everything more clearly. The next tournaments, in principle, are Acapulco and Indian Wells. I am with the maximum predetermination to go to Indian Wells and In Acapulco I have to analyze it. I have to make decisions according to what my body allows and so that things go as well as possible in the near future”.
What’s in Melbourne: “I’m taking the trophy, I’m taking the unconditional support of the people and an unforgettable experience on a personal level. I’ve been able to enjoy top-level sport again, something that a few weeks ago was unimaginable, and apart from achieving something very special I’ve been able to to compete again to the maximum against the best players. And not only in matches, but also in training. It is very important for the future and to have fun and be able to continue. Winning or losing are circumstances. The 3-4 weeks that I have spent in Australia I have felt surprisingly well against all the players that I have trained, and I attach special value to that. what you got.”
Pressure due to its trajectory: “The pressure always depends on the moment. In the semifinals and final you do feel the pressure, but I felt ready to compete now. Before you start you have a different pressure, to see if you can compete with guarantees… The pressure is usually to win or lose, but in this case my pressure was more on whether I could hold out to compete in such a competition. As the tournament progresses, we are competitors, there is a story behind it, and the pressure also grows with the chances of success. And the pressure, despite the physical circumstances, is not minor”.
emotional control: “When you lose the second set, when you put my situation in context, it’s a very strong blow. It’s a moment of maximum disappointment, but I continued, the circumstances gave me the opportunity and when you start to come back you start to believe. As the things start to come out, not only at the tennis level, what you want is to continue and not lose concentration because at the slightest mistake you are out. Feel the support of the people, many exciting points, things were happening and they were falling on my side. It is exciting to win a tournament of this caliber and Australia has meaning for me because it is the tournament in which I have suffered the most, with many critical moments in terms of injuries and at my age this achievement means a lot.”
Celebration: “The circumstances leave you little room for celebration. The complicated virus situation leads to taking care of oneself and taking care of people. Moderate celebrations as it is today, with my family above all”.
Stay in tennis: “I do see myself playing again, of course. Right now, I see myself with many more options to continue playing at the highest level. The five-set matches give you a lot of confidence, motivation and enthusiasm.”
Advance in the tournament: “I don’t think about winning, how am I going to think about winning if I haven’t competed in six months? In the end, I won the tournament, playing the final more or less well. And from then on there are several key moments. Several training sessions against the best players in the world, that I am playing one to one, that gives you a different perspective. Like the third game against Khachanov, the first game I have against one of the most important players, it is a first great challenge that I overcome with very good feelings When that happens, coming from winning a tournament, you reach the round of 16 and you start to breathe a little differently. You know it’s more difficult than normal, but the sensations are good.”
Difficult moments: “We are people, before athletes, and we go through better and worse moments. Some in which you feel that you are taking a small step forward, others in which you think that things are not going in the right way. Everyone has their goals, ambitions. These last six months I was not fit to fight for my goals. These are moments, changes, that there are doubts, that you look for solutions and that you cannot find them. They are moments in which you do not know what is going to happen and from there you continue. Days I could train 20 minutes, others zero and another two hours. I have come here with the right attitude, with enthusiasm. I have worked well in the gym, which is something that I do not particularly like, and I have tried to add in some way on the days when those that things were not going well. And the days when you couldn’t add, try not to subtract, although you also had to go home sometimes. You have to accept the different situations”.
How to stay motivated: “Each tournament that comes I have not won. That is the reality. Each tournament, each year is new. My ambition has never been excessive, it has been healthy and what motivates me is that I like to do what I do. This is the reality. When I’m more or less well, I like to train and compete and I enjoy doing what I do. Everything has an expiration date, in sports it ends earlier and it’s not forever, but as long as I have the ability to continue enjoying This is my illusion. You win, you lose, it’s part of our life, but the illusion of continuing to compete at my age against the best in the world in the best stadiums is what drives me”.
Forecasts: “I have no idea how I foresee the season. At the moment, I have started in the best possible way, the most unexpected. Hopefully my physique will allow me to make a calendar according to what I need to enjoy options in the places I want” .
The importance of your team: “Having the right people and family changes your life. I’ve always had the support of all the people I’ve had by my side, very important support, and having the same team I’ve always had helps me a lot because in the end they are not only a team, they are friends, colleagues, and there are times when you often need more friends than co-workers. I think I have the right people and I can only thank them, because largely because of them I am still where I am”.
Fight to have more Garnd Slams: “I have no idea what number I will have from Grand Slams. I recently signed just to continue playing tennis. I want to be the one with the most majors of the three of us, because we have to be clear, yes, I would love to. But I’m not obsessed, zero, whatever comes is welcome, I don’t think 21 is enough, to be honest, but the future will tell what has to happen. I feel very lucky, the three of us have achieved more than we dreamed of, the debate of the best or the not best is understandable because it generates fans, but internally I live it in a different way, naturally and I try to make my way. Continue with my roadmap, and if that leads me to live moments like those of these last days and weeks, welcome”.
Reach 21: “Yes, I could think about it, at Roland Garros I was already close, then I couldn’t continue competing. But it’s not something that I live day by day. I don’t think I have to win 21… I have to be prepared to compete. I repeat, I want be the one with the most, but not doing it is not going to affect my future happiness. I don’t want it to be taken out of context. We have to enjoy the competition and, within winning or losing, there is a long way to go and many nuances. I always try live these moments with a lot of tranquility and normality”.
Adapt the calendar: “If I play less, I can’t consider myself a tennis player. I’ve been playing six and eight tournaments a year for two years, this is nothing on a professional circuit. I can’t be more selective and I don’t want to have to be. Circumstances make you choose one he doesn’t like it that much. But I always make the decisions according to what is best for my tennis and my health.”
injuries: “2005 was hard, the first foot injury, the first difficult injury. Then wrist breaks… these are less of a concern, they are 3-4 months, injuries that have a calendar are much easier to assimilate. When you have a plan everything is easier. There are other injuries, like the knees in 2012 since Wimbeldon, which is a time with many doubts. You have to make decisions that you don’t like. Injuries are what they are. I’ve been through many incredible moments, bad , but the bad moments have never prevented me from continuing with enthusiasm to play. More or less I have always kept myself at a good level and that means that I have had the necessary capacity”.