Rafael Nadal admitted that Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic have a better record on hard but acknowledged that he has also had some big wins on the surface. Nadal has been absolutely dominant on clay throughout his career but Federer and Djokovic have had more success than Nadal on hard and grass.
"Of course, I was not the best player on hard because for a lot of moments of my career probably Roger and Novak had been a little bit better than me on this surface, without a doubt," Nadal said, per Sportskeeda.
"But I was able to compete well during all these years, was able to win a couple of very important tournaments."
Nadal worked hard to become better on hard, grass
"I think during all my tennis career I have been improving in all the surfaces," Nadal noted.
"That was always my goal, to be a better player in general terms." During his post-match press conference after beating Karen Khachanov, Nadal admitted he had to make several changes to his hard court game during his early days on tour.
"On hard? I don't know," he said. "I think during the years I needed to adapt a little bit my game to it because I had a lot of problems, physical problems, so I needed to find a ways to be competitive and to play sometimes more aggressive because I was not able to move that fast like in the beginning."
Nadal put an end to his 2021 season in August due to a foot issue. "Well, yes, of course," Nadal said when asked whether he had doubts about playing the Australian Open. "First of all, I mean, everybody around me, me included, of course, but everybody around me had a lot of doubts. Not about Australian Open, no, but about coming back on the tour because the foot was bothering a lot of days."