According to Rafael Nadal, in any case, the goal of the remaining years of his career is not to win as many trophies as possible, but to be remembered as an example to follow. A model of sportsman and man for the generations to come.
“Numerous tournaments have actually contacted me to enter the field (participate) - says Nadal -, but things are different than in the past. To play I have to be ready both physically and mentally; none have unlimited batteries.
When you are young you have a lot of energy, but now I have to make decisions that I sometimes don't like and skip the tournaments I want to play. In the future I don't want to be remembered as a tennis player with numerous titles but as the one who left a good example for boys and girls; he is my only target.
If there is one thing I wish I could say that I did well, it is that I have transmitted positive things on and off the pitch, which makes me very satisfied”.
Nadal on overcoming several injury issues
Rafael Nadal was forced to end his 2021 season early after his chronic foot injury resurfaced during the North American hardcourt swing.
The Spaniard's last professional match was at the ATP 500 event in Washington, when he was taken down by Lloyd Harris in the third round. "I've been better, but I'm fine. A little sore from the foot," Nadal was quoted as saying by Punto de Break.
"It is a time that is a bit complicated on a personal and professional level. Honestly, with the illusion of improving and facing a process that is going to be difficult and painful at some point, but that I have to go through to get back in a position to fight for what I want.
I am determined to do it." During the course of the launch event Rafael Nadal also talked about how he is happy with the way his career has shaped up, given that he has achieved things he had never dreamed of. However, the 20-time Grand Slam champion added that he has had to do so by overcoming several injury issues.
"I have had fantastic things, bigger things than I would have ever dreamed of, and also more complicated moments in the form of injuries," Nadal said. "But, within what is possible I have always had a way to get ahead."
The ‘Big 3’ have dominated most of the conversations around tennis in the last decade. While Federer and Nadal have been household names for a long time, in the last decade, Novak Djokovic has raced his way and earned tremendous success. At the moment, these three athletes are tied on 20 Grand Slam titles each.