Rafael Nadal was awarded as the best Male Athlete of the Year along with Roger Federer by L'Equipe. As well as they did with the Swiss, the French newspaper got an exclusive interview with the current world No. 1, who spoke about the few differences between their season: 'It wasn't an obvious thing, imagining that we'd be playing each other for the top titles after our injuries in 2016', Nadal said.
'That you put us equal I find normal. It's not easy analysing our seasons because there's good in both of them. [smiles] One could say that what he did was more impressive because he's older than I. That's a purely mathematical argument.
He managed to win a lot while playing a little. On the other hand, I played a lot and was productive all year on all surfaces.' In early December Marat Safin said that something is wrong with tennis if, comparing current situation with 2009 when he retired, top 10 players are pretty the same ones and that Federer, Nadal are still dominating.
'I hear that you might think at 31 and 36 we should have been overtaken by younger players', the Spaniard commented. 'But deducing from that that tennis has a problem seems an exaggeration to me. I think despite everything that, along with Roger, we've brought a lot to the game and are still doing it.
But the young players are emerging from the woods very well this year, and seems obvious that this tendency will continue in 2018. Little by little, what Safin describes will change.' Nadal's game is very different than 2005.
He evolved because the game evolved too, but 'mostly because of all my physical problems', he explained. 'I had to adapt my body as a consequence, look for solutions to protect certain parts. Most of my opponents haven't had as many niggles as I've had.
Without those, I would probably have improved more things, but not because I was obliged to. In any case, we're forced to always keep moving, because the more time advances, the more you lose physically. I've had highs and lows like everyone.
Besides, my doubts are always there and will be there the rest of my life, but I know that normally, if I keep the faith, I'll always return more or less to my level, if the body holds' ALSO READ: At a glance: All of Roger Federer's luxurious houses