There is a lot, as always, to learn from Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard, beating Hyeon Chung 7-5 6-3, achieved the Year-End No. 1 for the fourth time in his career, and in press conference he spoke about how he managed to do it. In 20 October 2016 he shutted down his season, in 1 November 2017 he is on the throne again.
'It was impossible for me to think about that when you are coming back from a tough period of time without playing tennis and with so many injuries in last couple of years', he said about No.
1 spot. 'But yes, here we are, happened. And very happy of course. It means a lot after almost ten years since the first time that I finished the year with this number. It has much more value [to] finish the year [as No. 1] than being No.
1 in the middle of the season. Even both things are important but it's different. And that big gap between the first time and this time, that's so difficult. It means a lot to be able to keep playing at this level after that long time.' 'You are the oldest No.
1 at the end of the year, 31', the journalist said. "Ever?', Nadal replied. 'Yes. In the history'. 'Really?", Rafael replied again. It shows how much this achievement is important to him.
How you define a winning mentality and what does it mean for you 'Define winning mentality? It's not about winning mentality. It's about the passion for what you are doing. It's about the mentality of waking up every morning with the right motivation to go on court and improve something.
That's the winning mentality, no? Everybody wants to win when we are competing and when we are on the tennis court. Another thing is wake up every morning with the passion to go on court and with the passion to improve something and practice every day with the right attitude to try to make that happen.
So that's another story, no? That's not everybody is able to do it. So for me that's the winning mentality to do the right things to try to give you chances to be better player.' What are your thoughts on your level of play today? 'It was not perfect.
It was not bad. There is room to improve, but I think I am ready to try to improve, no? I am on a good dynamic, playing well the whole season. So is always tough the first match. Of course I played indoor during Beijing, Shanghai because it was raining but it's a completely different story, no? Very high and different feelings, no? There's no comparison to play, for example, in the US Open indoor or playing here.
Is completely different thing. So for me was the first match of the year under these circumstances. So it was not perfect but it was not bad and that's the good news. And talking about was an important match for me because that's winning today already achieved that important thing for me.
So able to put that back and just think about playing tennis and play better every day. So tomorrow is a tough opponent. Pablo is always a tough one. I need to play well, but as I say, I hope to be ready to make that happen.' He has a strong concept about passion: 'If you don't practice with the right passion every day probably you will not be in that position.
So it's true that I have been winning a lot during almost all the time in my career. But I had periods of time that I have been injured. I've had periods of time where I was not winning. And when that happen, of course I had doubts.
Of course, you know, believe in yourself. Everybody says, you know, is important to believe in yourself. But at the end of the day for me it's not about believing in yourself. It's belief when you work. You have to believe when you work. Then when you win, you believe in yourself.
When you don't win, you don't believe that much in yourself. But if you're able to believe in the work of every day, then you're going to have the chance to win again probably. And that's what I did well, I think, all my life.' ALSO READ: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: 'I'm not surprised about the year Federer, Nadal had' .