The Spaniard spoke of the special circumstances in which Roland Garros was played. And he assured that today he does not think so much about having equaled Federer. “For me, today everything is about this victory,” he said.
There is no greater romance between a tennis player and a tournament like Rafael Nadal and Roland Garros. Since his debut in 2005, the Spaniard has built an unprecedented hegemony over French brick dust where, after his victory in this Sunday’s final against Novak Djokovic, he accumulates 13 titles and 100 victories. And right now, that dominance means more to Rafa than any other statistic in his impressive career. More even than having equaled Roger Federer’s record for the top Grand Slams winner in history,
“This was a difficult year and winning here means everything to me. Now I do not think about the 20 Grand Slam or that I equaled that great number of Roger. For me, today everything is about this victory at Roland Garros. Here I lived many of the The most important moments of my career, without a doubt. Just the fact of playing here is an inspiration and the love story I have with this city and this tournament is unforgettable, “said the Majorcan, after clearly dominating Djokovic in the decisive match. .
The Spaniard recognized that the special circumstances in which the tournament was played – in the midst of the pandemic that forced the change of its usual date of May / June and under a strict sanitary protocol – meant that the victory was not enjoyed as much as in years previous.
“For me to win here is not just a dream, it is everything. This court is the most important of my career and here I enjoyed the most special moments for me. But we are in a very difficult circumstance, that’s why this consecration not as happy as could be, because the tournament was not played under normal circumstances. Hopefully in a few months, in June of next year, we can return to Paris and celebrate this tournament again with this beautiful field full of people, “he reflected.
And he added: “I want to leave a message to the whole world. We are going through one of the worst moments that I think we all remember, with the world fighting this virus. Let’s stay strong, stay positive and we will surely overcome it.”
Nadal also took a few seconds to thank the support of his family and his work team – “after everything I have experienced throughout my career, especially due to injuries, without them it would have been impossible,” he assured – and for recognize Djokovic’s great tournament.
“He had another great year, with a title in Australia. What he is doing in this sport is very special. It is a pleasure to share with Novak this great era of tennis together; although it has been difficult on some occasions because we have starred in great battles”, Nadal commented.
The Serbian, seeking his 18th big and his second victory in Paris, also filled the Spaniard with praise and accepted his defeat with chivalry.
“What Rafa he’s achieving on this court – and in his entire career too – it’s incredible. Today I experienced again firsthand what it is like to face him in this tournament. The truth is, I didn’t play my best game, but I was clearly outmatched by an opponent who was much better on the pitch today, “said Djokovic.
“I still enjoyed two very good weeks and in this difficult situation we are experiencing, we were able to play this sport that we love so much,” he concluded.