Rafael Nadal could not start 2021 as he would have liked, especially due to a back injury that has afflicted him since January. After missing the entire ATP Cup, the Spanish phenomenon managed to compete in the Australian Open, where he was eliminated from the stage in the quarter-finals at the hands of Stefanos Tsitsipas. The former world number 1 has missed tournaments in Rotterdam, Dubai, Acapulco and the Masters 1000 in Miami, causing some concern among his many fans. In recent days, some videos have been released showing the 20-time Grand Slam champion training intensely on clay, a further indication that his return should take place in Monte Carlo. The 34-year-old Majorcan is aware that he has a gluttonous opportunity at Roland Garros, which has seen him triumph 13 times (with only two defeats to his credit). In the event of a triumph in Paris, Rafa would in fact detach Roger Federer in the all-time Grand Slam standings. In a recent interview with ‘Veja’, Nadal admitted that he is quite a private person.
Rafael Nadal’s humility is amongst his most well-known traits
“Honestly, I don’t remember ever playing without pain,” Rafael Nadal said. “In the past few years, I have been experiencing pain more often and you need to learn to live with it, as long as it doesn’t stop you from playing. I had to change a lot in my game and in my training. I changed routines, trained less hours than I would like, improved my serve and my positioning. Everything evolves, one way or the other.” The Mallorcan believes that the best time to measure a player’s greatness is after that player has retired. “I don’t think it is in any way up to me to make a comment like that (on him being the GOAT),” Rafael Nadal continued. “People like to speculate, which is why they make these comparisons. When my career is over, we will have enough time to remember my achievements and understand the place I occupy in the history of tennis.” During his interview, the 34-year-old touched upon the topic of fame, revealing that it does not affect his personality. Nadal called himself a ‘reserved person’ who primarily enjoys spending time with his loved ones. “I never said specifically that I don’t like being famous,” Nadal said. “What I usually say is that fame does not affect me or my behavior. It is true that I am a reserved person. I am used to a life in Mallorca where I can be an ordinary person, just a man with his family and friends.”