Rafael Nadal: 'I will not destroy myself to overtake Roger Federer'



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Rafael Nadal: 'I will not destroy myself to overtake Roger Federer'

Rafael Nadal is progressively solving the back problems that forced him to miss the ATP Cup and also affected him in the first rounds of the Australian Open 2021. The Spanish phenomenon, who is chasing his second title in Melbourne Park after the triumph of 2009, he dismissed Fabio Fognini in three sets in the second round and will face Stefanos Tsitsipas for a place in the semifinal (in the re-edition of the match staged right here two years ago).

The 34-year-old from Manacor is currently tied with eternal rival Roger Federer at 20 Grand Slams each, having once again won Roland Garros last year. The former world number 1 has a chance to detach King Roger in the event of a final success, a prospect that doesn't seem to haunt Rafa too much.

In a press conference after the victory over Fognini, the Iberian reiterated that his main goal is to enjoy tennis, without focusing too much on the records he could break. Federer has chosen to miss the Australian Open for the first time in the last 23 editions.

The 39-year-old from Basel, absent for over a year, will return to the field in Doha in the second week of March.

Rafael Nadal on Roger Federer's record

"Well, of course I am but I am not obsessed, I said," Rafael Nadal said.

"I play tennis. I like tennis. I like what I am doing. That's the main thing. I mean, of course I am very motivated to win Grand Slams and to play in the most important events of the year. No doubt about that. The only thing that I said is I have never been obsessed to try to be the best or to try to - no, I just did my way.

That worked for me. I think the ambition is important, to have an ambition, but a healthy ambition. If you have too much ambition then you can be frustrated when you are not able to achieve all the things that you wanted. I never approached the sport and my career that way.

That's it." Nadal says his main aim is to enjoy his tennis but admits he cannot always be on top of his game. "I enjoy, I give my best always," he continued. "I try to compete at my highest standards every day.

Sometimes the highest standards are 60 percent, sometimes they are 100 percent. But I just try to give my best throughout my career, and that's it. For me the main thing is come back home with personal satisfaction that you gave it everything.

That's what gives me happiness and makes me stay calm." Roger Federer opted to miss this year's Australian Open as he continues his road to recovery from double knee surgery in 2020. The 39-year-old is set to return to action at the Qatar Open in March.