After lifting his record-extending 11th title the French Open, Spanish great Rafael Nadal stayed positive about his future, insisting that tennis is undoubtedly an important part of his life but not everything.
With his 17th major title on Sunday, Nadal, 32, closed the gap on arch-rival and 20-time winner Roger Federer on the all-time list for most Grand Slam men’s singles titles.
“You can’t fight against the age and you can’t fight against the watch. The watch always keeps going,” admitted Nadal following his straight-set victory over Austrian promising star Dominic Thiem.
“If you tell me seven, eight years ago that I will be here with 32 years old having this trophy with me again, I will tell you that is something almost impossible, but here we are.
“I am not much worried about the future. Tennis is a very important part of my life, without doubt, but is not everything.
“I have a lot of other things that make me happy, so I am not much worried about the future. I am enjoying the moment. I’m just trying to keep enjoying, and I’m gonna keep playing until my body resists, and my happiness is still high playing tennis,” he said.
Nadal also shrugged off any obsession for catching up with his long-time Swiss rival in terms of title number.
“Let me enjoy this title. I can’t be always thinking of more,” Nadal said with a smile.
“You can’t be always frustrated if somebody has more money than you, has a bigger house than you, has more Grand Slams than you. You can’t live with that feeling. You have to do your way,” he said, adding that it has nothing to do with complacency.
“That doesn’t mean that I will not keep fighting for giving myself more chances in the future, in the next tournaments, Grand Slams, Masters 1000, 500 and 250s.
“I play for my happiness, and I know that I already had an amazing career. I’m just gonna keep fighting for things and that’s it,” he commented.
Roland Garros title can culminate another successful clay-court season for Nadal following his victories in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Rome. Fresh from that, the “King of Clay” didn’t have enough time to anticipate the follow-up grass court season that was not in his favoured manner.
“It’s difficult for me to think about it now. I had a long and mentally tough clay court season because I played almost all possible matches after coming from an injury. It was a demanding two months for me.
“Last year I felt that I had a good opportunity to go far in the tournament (Wimbledon). I felt myself playing well on grass last year. I lost that match against a very tough opponent on grass like Gilles Muller.
“I would love to be playing in as many places as possible, but I need to check how I feel in the next couple of days. It’s a drastic change from clay to grass,” he pointed out.