‘I’ve achieved my dream’: Nadal reflects on French Open win

Credits CNN

Following his record-extending 22nd Grand Slam victory, Rafael Nadal spoke to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour about his French Open win and whether anyone can beat his record.

Reflecting on his 14th French Open title, Nadal said he does not think about or care much whether he is the ‘greatest of all time’:

“I honestly don’t think much about that, and from the bottom of my heart I really don’t care that much, you know. I think it doesn’t matter. I achieved my dream and I enjoy what I am doing. I understand the question and I know the press and people is always caring a lot about this stuff, but in some way I am an important part of the history of the sport and that makes me feel proud, happy and at the end it doesn’t matter much.”

The 36-year-old said that while he wants to be the player with the most Grand Slams, the record does not bother him, “Honestly it’s something that not bothers me, if Novak [Djokovic] wins 23 [Grand Slam titles] and I stay with 22, I think my happiness will not change at all, not even 1%.”

When asked if his record could ever be beaten, Nadal gave a humble answer, “It’s difficult to say that from myself, but, I mean, I always have something in mind that I always consider myself a very normal guy, so if I did it… maybe somebody else can do it. But it’s obvious that the record of 22 grand slams, I think, is something much more possible that somebody increase that record. I am sure that going to happen. I mean 14 Roland Garros is something. I mean, very difficult.”

The Spaniard also discussed Wimbledon’s decision to ban Russian and Belarussian players from entering because of the war in Ukraine, saying that he understood the decision:

“First of all the world of tennis is zero… so when you see plenty of families, kids dying, suffering then the rest of the things don’t matter… It doesn’t matter if Wimbledon does one thing or another thing or if ATP does, or does one thing or another thing… because the real thing and the real drama is that people are dying and a lot of families are suffering….But of course if you ask me about the position of Wimbledon, from my humble point of view I have a clear view. I understand what Wimbledon did, I respect what Wimbledon did because it’s something that from my point of view is fair enough because they have in some way the pressure of the government and they have their point of view but from the ATP side, they have to protect their members too.”

Key Quotes

Nadal on whether he should be known as the ‘greatest of all time’:

“I honestly don’t think much about that, and from the bottom of my heart I really don’t care that much, you know. I think it doesn’t matter. I achieved my dream and I enjoy what I am doing. I understand the question and I know the press and people is always caring a lot about this stuff, but in some way I am an important part of the history of the sport and that makes me feel proud, happy and at the end it doesn’t matter much.”

Nadal on whether his record can be broken:

“It’s difficult to say that from myself, but, I mean, I always have something in mind that I always consider myself a very normal guy, so if I did it… maybe somebody else can do it. But it’s obvious that the record of 22 grand slams, I think, is something much more possible that somebody increase that record. I am sure that going to happen. I mean 14 Roland Garros is something. I mean, very difficult.”

Nadal on his Grand Slam record:

“Honestly it’s something that not bothers me, if Novak [Djokovic] wins 23 [Grand Slam titles] and I stay with 22, I think my happiness will not change at all, not even 1%.”

Nadal on retirement speculation:

“I never had in my mind (plans) to announce any retirement after this event, but of course, there is a possibility that things are not improving. Then I don’t know what can happen.”

Nadal on his fitness:

“After the pandemic, something happened in my foot. I am not able to manage the pain to play often and even practice.”

“The only thing I can say is going through all these challenges, I always hold the passion to keep going and I always hold the love for the game. I always wanted to keep going. That’s probably why I am in the position that I am today.”

Nadal on Wimbledon’s decision to ban Russian and Belarussian players:

“First of all the world of tennis is zero… so when you see plenty of families, kids dying, suffering then the rest of the things don’t matter… It doesn’t matter if Wimbledon does one thing or another thing or if ATP does, or does one thing or another thing… because the real thing and the real drama is that people are dying and a lot of families are suffering….But of course if you ask me about the position of Wimbledon, from my humble point of view I have a clear view. I understand what Wimbledon did, I respect what Wimbledon did because it’s something that from my point of view is fair enough because they have in some way the pressure of the government and they have their point of view but from the ATP side, they have to protect their members too.”

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