Rafael Nadal: 'Being a good person is worth more than any title'

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Rafael Nadal: 'Being a good person is worth more than any title'

Rafael Nadal is back home. After a 15-hour flight that took him from New York to Madrid and then from Madrid to Mallorca, the Spaniard, who won his 16th Grand Slam title at the US Open, can officially start his free week before returning to practice from next Monday.

Before leaving New York on Monday afternoon, Rafa met the Spanish press, including El Mundo. 'One of my best seasons in career,' was how he described his 2017 after the triumph in Flushing Meadows. He won five titles and lost three finals, became the world no.

1 again (now he has 1,960 more points than Roger Federer) after starting the season in the ninth place. Until nine months ago, it was difficult to imagine something like this, both for tennis fans and him too. There were criticisms and suggestions to fire his coaches along the way, but he never got nervous with anyone.

How can he be so humble? 'I am a person who has an axe to grind and have zero problems on it. I always say one thing, if they express opinions being respectful, I don't have anything to say. As I speak always in a respectful way, I would like to see others do the same.

I try to treat everyone being respectful for their job. You can be wrong doing things, but if you do it in good faith and give your best effort, you can't say anything. Same thing for me. If I do things as best as I can and then they don't want as I would like to, it's not enough.

I will keep working to do better. 'I had an important season, and it was so difficult to do it,' Nadal added. 'Dailly work and enthusiasm paid off.' Asked how he managed to stay with his feet on the grounds despite people praising him to the sky, Nadal replied: 'If it didn't happen at 20, it's difficult that it happens at 31, no? To be honest I have a very normal life, this is the truth.

When I am in Manacor, I feel exactly as others do, as any friend of mine does. It's clear I do not do things my friends do, but basic things of the life maybe yes. At the end of the day the most important thing is to be a good person, which is worth more than any title or success.' Lifting the US Open trophy wasn't something granted especially because he had a slow start in the tournament.

Asked how he overcame uncertainties and nerves in the first rounds, Nadal said: 'By winning. When things do not go in the right way, you need to accept the difficulties and overcome them with the best attitude as you can.

I think the match against Leonardo Mayer may have been the turning point.' ALSO READ: Wilander: 'Nadal is hungrier than Federer, he can catch his Slam titles'