Nadal Shares His Secret To Longevity On Tour
Rafael Nadal has won 19 Grand Slam titles, been ranked No. 1 in the FedEx ATP Rankings in three decades and, at the age of 33, is again the top seed at this month's Australian Open, which starts Monday in Melbourne.
So what's his secret? Unfortunately, Nadal confirmed on Saturday, he doesn't have one.
“No secret at all,” he told reporters. “There is only about passion, about love for the game, and being able to stay positive in the tough moments.”
Nadal has had more than his share of injuries and, along with his trophy-hoisting moments, he's had plenty of losses as well.
“It's true that I went through some tough situations during all my career. But I was able to always, with probably the positive attitude and with the right people around, they were key, I was able to find a way to keep going,” he said.
“For my style of game, as a lot of people said, my career should be little bit shorter. But here we are. Happy for that. Even for me, it is a big surprise to be where I am at my age.
“Happy for everything. Just enjoying the situation.”
The Spaniard, who opens against Bolivian Hugo Dellien, will go for his second Australian Open title (2009) this fortnight. Nadal made the final in 2019 (also '12, '14, '17) before falling to Novak Djokovic, the first and only time Nadal did not win a set in 27 major championship finals.
The two met again during the ATP Cup final last weekend in Sydney, and their 55th ATP Head2Head meeting was a straight-sets win for Djokovic. Nadal, however, will be ready for a rematch should it come in the final on 2 February.
“I am practising I think more or less okay. Just remain for me two more days of practice. Let's try to keep going with the right intensity and with the right feelings. Hopefully I will be ready for Tuesday,” Nadal said.