Rafael Nadal added to his legend on Sunday with his 13th appearance at Roland Garros, which allowed him to equal Roger Federer’s record of 20 Grand Slams. That impressive achievement caused some to close the discussion and name the Spaniard as the best player of all time. He did not go that far but, proud and happy for what he achieved, he assured: “It is clear that today I am within the best two of history “.
“I am not the best. That is debatable. In the end the figures have to be analyzed by people who know the history of tennis well. Honestly, it does not matter much to me either. I am happy with my career. It is clear that today I am within the two. From here we will see what happens with Novak (Djokovic), we will see what happens with Federer when he returns and we will see what happens with me. Luckily, I think we will have time to analyze all the data when our careers finish and take a clear verdict “, he analyzed in a talk with several Spanish media, hours before traveling back to his country.
The landslide three-set win over world number one Djokovic extended the Spaniard’s unprecedented hegemony over the French brick dust, where he has a record of 100 wins and just two losses in 15 appearances. His victory came in an edition in which the playing conditions – cold, heavy balls and wetter courts than usual – did not seem favorable for his game. And for many, it was a reaffirmation that in Paris, Rafa is unbeatable.
Nadal, however, acknowledged: “I don’t see it that way. I think I have played taking steps forward every day and I made the almost perfect game when I had to, against the most difficult opponent. I am not very into hitting the table. (NdR: In reference to a gesture of reaffirmation). I did well enough to win the games. It was a tournament that seemed difficult and I won it without losing a set, so it was better than expected. ”
With 20 “greats”, a total of 86 titles and even an Olympic title in its showcases, the great “pending account” of the Spanish is the London Masters, that end-of-season tournament that he still could not conquer. The Mallorcan wants to add that trophy to his showcases, but that goal is not something that takes his sleep away.
“What is left to do now? For me, to continue enjoying the day to day. I am fortunate for all the things that have happened to me during these years. Until today, life has smiled on me. What remains for me to gain ? I don’t know, but the illusion is always to keep moving forward, because if one does not have the motivation to do what he does, it is time to dedicate himself to something else. As long as I maintain that illusion to play tennis and compete, I will continue to strive every day. “he commented.
What’s more: after his consecration in Paris, Nadal left in the air the possibility of lower the curtain on your season earlier than expected and skip both the Masters 1000 in Paris, which will start on November 2, and the appointment at the London O2 Arena, for which he is already classified and which will be played between the 15th and 22nd of that same month.
“I have to consider things well. Decisions, today more than ever, have to be taken calmly and analyzing all situations. You have to make the right decisions more than ever, both personally and professionally. I need a little of time to know when my next tournament will or will not be. In the following days, I will make a decision and let it be known, “he said this Monday.
His eventual withdrawal from the British tournament would end up being good news for Diego Schwartzman, because it would release a new quota for the tournament, which already has six players inside, including the Mallorcan.
The Argentine, who has just finished in Rome and the semi-finals at Roland Garros (he lost precisely to Rafa), is eighth in the “Race to London” with many chances to qualify for the first time.