Rafael Nadal: 'Ten years ago, I did not think about playing until mid 30s'

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Rafael Nadal: 'Ten years ago, I did not think about playing until mid 30s'

Rafael Nadal can not be pleased with his results in 2021, winning two titles but failing to reach a Major final. Troubled with injuries, Nadal had to finish his season already at the beginning of August, playing two matches after Roland Garros and skipping Wimbledon and the US Open for a massive setback.

The 20-time Major winner claimed two titles in 2021, conquering Barcelona and Rome after fending off three match points in two matches versus Stefanos Tsitsipas and Denis Shapovalov. Throwing everything at Roland Garros, Rafa failed to claim the 14th Parisian title after losing to Novak Djokovic in a thrilling semi-final that lasted four hours and 11 minutes.

Ahead of Roland Garros, Nadal was eager to leave Monte Carlo and Madrid losses behind him and be a contender for another crown in Paris. Also, Rafa spoke about his longevity, never believing he would still be active in the mid-30s.

At 35, Nadal is still eager to get back at his best and play another high-quality season in 2022 if his foot heals properly, undergoing treatment in Barcelona a couple of days ago and hoping for a positive outcome.

Rafael Nadal is still ranked in the top-10 despite numerous injuries over the years.

"No one is invincible, anywhere.

I lost early in Monte Carlo and Madrid this year, hoping to avoid that at Roland Garros. I will give my best to chase another title. Ten years ago, I did not think I would still be active in the mid 30s. On the other hand, things looked good two years ago, and I knew I still had a couple of good seasons in front of me.

I had so many problems with injuries in the past, and it was not easy to imagine that my career would last so long. Roland Garros is an exceptional place for me. What matters in the next two weeks is to play well, being the favorite or not.

The one who produces the best tennis will have the most chances to go all the way; my goal is to be the one who plays on the highest level. I played better in Monte Carlo and Rome than at Roland Garros in my early years. It's more challenging to have a good feeling at Roland Garros; the court is enormous, and there are different sensations.

Even though I do not like to say it, it's extraordinary what I have achieved in Paris. I'm grateful, and I understand the gesture: I accomplished something challenging to imagine," Rafael Nadal said.