Tennis great Rafael Nadal has opened up on his rivalry with Roger Federer ahead of the Australian Open 2020, where the Spaniard has the opportunity of equalling Federer’s record of 20 Grand Slam titles.
John McEnroe’s infamous meltdown – Australian Open Moments
The 33-year-old was talking to the media after his loss to Novak Djokovic in the ATP Cup final where he revealed that though their rivalry has been intense at times, it has been very healthy and a respectful one too.
“I think it is a little bit of everything,” Nadal said as reported by Express. “We have had a really intense rivalry in our careers but it has been very healthy. It has been a respectful rivalry and we ave reached a stage in our lives where it is not all about winning.
“[We] also know that this is a game. And there are many other things in life that are more important than a game, than a match. And of course there have been some moments with more tension. But like everything else in life, both he and myself, we had very clearly in our minds that the human relations are more important than the tennis rivalry.”
The 19-time Grand Slam champions then opened up on the longevity of his career despite the many injury issues he has had to face.
“I’m very happy that after all of the physical issues that I had to suffer through my career, which are a lot, I’m delighted to be where I am, being 33,” he added.
“This is something I value and that gives me great personal satisfaction. Because you make the extra effort it means that you have the chance to compete again the next day.
“And the next day, you’re going to be playing better. Sometimes when I’m in the first round or second round, and I’m not playing well, I say, ‘okay, just accept it. Don’t get frustrated. Just accept and focus’.”