Rafael Nadal, the day after his feat at Roland Garros: “I hope to live again in a happier world”

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The Spaniard, owner of 13 Grand Slam titles, spoke before returning to his country. “Winning with sacrifices gives more satisfaction,” he said.

Rafael Nadal is the last to board the plane that took him back to Spain this Monday after winning his 13th Roland Garros. “I hope to live again in a happier world”, he points out about the pandemic in a telephone interview with several international media before going through the boarding gate.

It was only a few hours ago that he astonished the world with his latest exhibition. He defeated number 1 Novak Djokovic in three sets to equal the 20 Grand Slams of his eternal rival: Roger Federer.

-What motivates you the most: winning titles or overcoming difficulties?

-In the end what excites you is a bit of everything. Winning is what you play for. In highly competitive sport, it is victory that counts. That is a reality. But I add much greater personal satisfaction to the victory, because I have had to make sacrifices at certain times to achieve the goal.

-You have been very affected when talking about the pandemic during the tournament. How did you experience the confinement?

-With sadness. I am a sensitive person and when I see so much suffering, so many deaths, so many people having a hard time … I had a bad time. At one point I stopped watching the news because it generated a state of sadness that was not healthy. I am living it with concern, now that it seems that things are not going the right way again. And hoping that this nightmare is over as soon as possible and that people can go back to living in a more pleasant and happier world.

-He spoke of physical difficulties during the confinement in the press conference after the triumph. What happened?

-After confinement I was bad: they were many weeks training very little. I had little chance of training in the way I would have liked, especially the first two months after confinement. The body suffered a little from all the parata. The reality is that for bodies with many kilometers on top like mine, a drastic stop makes returning to normal work much more complicated. In my case, unfortunately the body responded badly for a few months and little by little things have been straightening out. They were tough weeks.

-How did the Rafa who won for the first time 15 years ago change from the one who did it on Sunday?

What has changed is old age (laughs) Fifteen years apart is the only negative of all. Everything else, the basic and important things in my life, have not changed much. I still live in practically the same place, I have the same friends and the reality is that my modus vivendi when I am out of tournaments has changed relatively little.

-Where do you imagine 15 years from now?

-I’m not very into making long-term plans. But I have many things at hand: the Foundation, the Academy and many other things that are going to appear. With the hope of living new experiences, learning and seeing what the future holds. To this day I still play tennis. We will see until when.

-The congratulations on social networks from Federer for reaching his 20 Grand Slams has had a lot of impact. Have you been able to speak to him?

-The truth is that since yesterday I have used the telephone for you (journalists) basically. Since the end I have not had a choice of anything, I have not read the messages. I started with radios, newspapers, televisions … Then I went straight to dinner and got into bed, as you can imagine. I got up this morning and from then until now I have not stopped for a second, taking photos and attending to your colleagues. Later or tomorrow I will try to see what they have written to me and I will reply to everyone.

With information from AFP and EFE

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