Rafael Nadal: 'Roger Federer and me push each other to be better'

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Rafael Nadal: 'Roger Federer and me push each other to be better'

Novak Djokovic has been number one in the world since 3 February 2020 and has for a few weeks reached and exceeded 300 weeks as number one in the world. Now the world number one is chasing Roger Federer's 310-week record, yet another goal of an extraordinary career, and is expected to reach week 307 at the top of the world rankings next week.

The record of the Swiss champion is really in great balance and Djokovic can exceed his record in the coming weeks. The only tennis player who can really prevent Novak Djokovic from overtaking Roger Federer is paradoxically the greatest rival of the Swiss champion, namely the Spanish tennis player and current world number two Rafael Nadal.

The Spaniard took time out from his ATP Cup and Australian Open preparations this week for a wide-ranging and candid interview with Christiane Amanpour, CNN’s Chief International Anchor.

Rafael Nadal on his major rivals

Amanpour asked Rafael Nadal about his rivals and he insisted that he isn’t “obsessed” with eclipsing Roger Federer in the majors’ title tally.

“The records are important, I’m a competitor, but I’ve never been obsessed with trying to be the best,” said Nadal, No. 2 in the FedEx ATP Rankings. "I did much more than what I ever dreamed in my tennis career.

It would be amazing for me to win one more and to be at the end of my career to be the player with more Grand Slams, but that’s not the key for my happiness in the future. It’s not an obsession”. The Spaniard said that he had good relationships with Federer and Novak Djokovic, who have motivated him to excel.

“We did beautiful things together and important things for our sport," he said. "We push each other to be better. To have somebody in front of you that's doing a lot of things better than you, it gives you a clear way about what you need to improve to achieve your goals."

There are estimates that around 390K people will be able to witness the matches live over the course of the 2021 Australian Open. According to the COVIDSafe plan, 30,000 people will be able to attend the event for the starting eight days.

However, after that, only 25,000 people will be allowed to watch the event in stadiums during the quarter-final stage. It has been quite a while since players saw fans supporting them in stadiums. They will also be happy to play in front of a huge crowd at the upcoming Grand Slam.

In an interview, Victorian Minister for Sports, Martin Pakula, assured that there would be an incredible environment at the major next week.