World no. 2 and the 19-time Major champion Rafael Nadal has embraced quite a journey in the last 15 years, from a super fine clay-courter towards one of the greatest players of all time. Working on his game regularly, Nadal was ready to improve and add different elements to his game to challenge the players from the very top, becoming world no.
2 after conquering the first Roland Garros crown at 19 and never leaving the top-10 again despite many setbacks with injuries. The Spaniard was the finalist at Wimbledon already in 2006, mastering the fastest surface and winning the title there two years later, followed by the crown at the Australian Open next January and at the US Open in September 2010, completing a Career Grand Slam at the age of 24 and securing his spot among tennis immortals.
Experiencing many thrilling victories but also defeats, Rafa would love to stay remembered for his legacy and the example he has given to the upcoming players, never breaking racquet on the court and always giving his 100%.
Last week, Rafa won the 85th ATP title in Acapulco, extending his unmatched streak to 17 years with at least one ATP crown on his tally and preparing for another assault in Indian Wells and Miami. "Numerous tournaments have indeed contacted me about joining the field but things are different than in the past.
To play, I have to be ready both physically and mentally; no one has unlimited batteries. When you are young, you have plenty of energy but now you have to make decisions that sometimes you don't like and skip tournaments that you would love to play.
In the future, I do not want to be remembered as a tennis player with numerous titles but the one who has left a good example for boys and girls; it is my only objective. If one thing I wish I could say that I have done well is that I have transmitted positive stuff on and off the court, something that makes me very satisfied."