Rafael Nadal: 'Life has smiled upon me, and I'm still passionate about tennis'



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Rafael Nadal: 'Life has smiled upon me, and I'm still passionate about tennis'

The 20-time Major champion Rafael Nadal will try to leave the 2021 season behind him as soon as possible. The Spaniard claimed two ATP titles but failed to compete at his best at Majors due to injuries, skipping Wimbledon and the US Open and suffering a tough loss at Roland Garros to Novak Djokovic.

In a different outcome, Rafa was a happy camper last October, claiming the 20th Major crown at Roland Garros to match Roger Federer's record for the first time. After an early exit in Rome in September, Nadal found his A-game when he needed it the most, extending his Parisian reign and writing tennis history.

Asked about the next steps after accomplishing that historical feat, Nadal said his goal is to keep enjoying what every day offers. Despite all the records and trophies, Nadal is still eager to improve his game and play on a high level every time he steps on the court.

Without that, Rafa would have considered retirement and finding something else to occupy his time, never doing anything without a complete dedication. Facing difficult conditions in Paris, Nadal produced another masterclass performance on his beloved clay, winning the 13th title from 16 trips to Roland Garros!

At 34, Nadal became the second-oldest champion in Paris, winning all seven matches without losing a set and writing new chapters of history books. The Spaniard had to adjust his game to cold and rainy weather, producing more aggressive tennis and scoring comfortable wins despite a roof over Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Rafael Nadal is still passionate about tennis despite everything he has achieved.

Rafa took down the young gun Jannik Sinner after two tight sets in the quarters, entering the semis where he faced Diego Schwartzman, who toppled him in Rome.

Nadal was too good this time, dominating sets one and two and enduring a tough battle in the closing stages of the third to find himself in the 13th Roland Garros final. There, world no. 1 Novak Djokovic stood no chance against the Spaniard, who defended the title with a comprehensive 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 triumph in two hours and 41 minutes, barely putting a foot wrong and leaving Djokovic far behind to celebrate the 20th Major crown.

Nadal will return to action in December, entering the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi and hoping to defend the title he claimed in 2019. "My goal is to keep enjoying daily life. In the end, I'm a lucky person, and life has smiled upon me so far.

I do not know what is left for me to win, but the excitement continues to move forward. If you do not have that enthusiasm, it's time to dedicate yourself to something else. As long as I have it, I have to keep working hard every day to keep giving myself chances of competing at the highest level," Rafael Nadal said.