Rafael Nadal insists his legacy and being remembered as a good human being is more important to him than being regarded as the best tennis player of all time. Nadal, 36, is one of the most accomplished players in tennis history but also one of the most beloved tennis players among fans.
Nadal, a record 22-time Grand Slam champion, has one more Major than Novak Djokovic. But whenever Nadal is asked about the GOAT debate, he never declares himself as the GOAT or even suggests that he is the GOAT. “I don’t think about it.
I think it’s something that takes a backseat. The important legacy is that all the people I have met during these 20 years of my career have a good human memory of me. At the end of the day, the personal issue, education, respect and the affection with which you can treat people comes before the professional issue, because that is what remains [after you have retired]," Nadal said.
Nadal has always been very respectful
A couple of days ago, Nadal was asked about Roger Federer's retirement. Even though Nadal and Federer created one of the biggest rivalries in tennis history, they always kept a very respectful relationship.
Now, Nadal admits that Federer's retirement closed one important chapter of his life. "Due to our contrasting styles and personalities, due to affinity, in some way we have shared so much. Someone I have admired, who I have rivalled and also I have shared many beautiful things on and off the court was leaving.
In that sense, all those moments, those feelings you have before playing a final of a Grand Slam, of an important tournament, everything that was in the air before those matches. It was different from other matches. You know you’re not going to live that again and a part of my life left with him [when he retired].
It was also the emotion of saying goodbye to someone who has been so important to our sport," Nadal said of Federer's retirement," Nadal said of Federer's retirement.