'If Rafael Nadal plays the Rio Open today, his mind...', says former No. 1

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'If Rafael Nadal plays the Rio Open today, his mind...', says former No. 1

On Sunday, Rafael Nadal won his 13th title at Roland Garros leaving just seven games in the final to world Novak Djokovic. Yet another triumph in Paris also earned him the 20th Major of his career, equaling the record of eternal rival Roger Federer after a very long chase.

At a press conference, the Spanish phenomenon admitted that he could close his 2020 prematurely and reappear directly at the start of next season. Interviewed by former tennis player Flavio Saretta, Gustavo Kuerten commented on Rafa's success in the French capital without losing a single set.

The Brazilian, who has won Roland Garros three times in his career, has never had the opportunity to face Nadal. Due to injuries, the former world number 1 retired prematurely in 2008, aged just 32.

Kuerten on Rafael Nadal

“Fantastic, more and more admirable, beyond the impossible.

It looks like the 14th (title) is coming and Rafael Nadal has a good chance of getting the 15th," Gustavo Kuerten said. “Rafael Nadal starts from a basic principle, which is how geniuses do it," Kuerten said.

"He simplifies the process based on: I want, I can, I do. If he plays the Rio Open today, his mind is already thinking about Roland Garros." Kuerten was asked during the chat what it would have been like to play against Rafael Nadal.

"If my body had lasted a few more years, maybe until 2006, it would be a sensational match," Kuerten said. "I always go on the court to do everything. Rafael Nadal is so great that each ball had to be played in its moment, fit for the right occasion."

In a recent interview, Nadal talked about his triumph in Paris: "I had the right people by my side. They pushed me when necessary and they gave me the freedom to enjoy other things when I really needed to. We’ve had to make difficult decisions, like not going to New York.

Everything is good or bad based on the final result. Right now, it seems like it was successful because I won at Roland Garros, if I had lost maybe it wouldn’t have been so good. That’s the reality of sport, a totally result-based world.

The decisions were made consensually, analysing everything. Beyond the result, personally, I’m very happy with the steps we took. I’ve been more subdued than normal, but that’s a general feeling throughout the world.

We’re in a sad situation. You can’t share moments with people you’d like to. Everything is less pleasant and you cannot remove yourself from the things that are going on in the world, also knowing that we are back in a complicated situation in Spain.

It is normal to suffer because of what’s happening. There have been other pandemics in the past, but in recent history we have not been through one. Even so, I’ve been focused and had the necessary attitude when required. It’s the thing I am most satisfied about in the whole tournament."