Rafael Nadal: “Over the years, you also have to be realistic, things are more complicated”

Giving news of his left foot, Rafael Nadal is aware of this fact: at 35, it is more difficult to recover to return to the top. But he is determined to do everything to make it happen.

Rafael Nadal, Roland-Garros 2021

In his latest Instagram post – sun, idyllic surroundings and beer in hand surrounded by friends on his yacht – Rafael Nadal is a far cry from the pressure he experiences on tour. Recovering after a treatment received on his left foot suffering from Muller-Weiss syndrome, the Mallorcan is enjoying his free time. In the middle of the week, on the occasion of the presentation of the four-part docu-series about the Rafael Nadal Academy available on Amazon Prime Video since Friday, the Balearic left-hander updated the public on his status.

“I am determined to get there.”

Rafael Nadal

“I’ve known better, but I’m fine,” the 35-year-old smiled at first. “My foot still hurts a bit. It’s been a difficult time. My goal is to get better, knowing that at some point I’m going to have to face difficult and painful stages. But I have to go through them to put myself back in a position to fight for what I want. I am determined to make it happen. ”

After the defeat in the semi-finals of Roland Garros against Novak Djokovic during which the pain had worsened, Nadal attempted a return to competition two months later in Washington, D.C. but his summer was short-lived. Defeated by Lloyd Harris in his second match, he then ended his 2021 season before the US Open.

“In my original scenario, I was playing Wimbledon, the Olympics and the US Open,” Nadal continued. “But scenarios cannot always be followed to the letter. You have to know how to adapt and accept things as they come.

“I’ve experienced some fantastic things in my career that I never could have dreamed of,” he added. “I had a hard time with injuries too, but I always found a way to get up and move on. Over the years, you also have to be realistic: things get more complicated, the clock is ticking. But I stay positive and appreciate how lucky I am to experience all of these things.”

“What gets the most happiness is to give your maximum. It’s stronger than any success.”

Rafael Nadal

Then asked about the theme of defeat, the Spaniard with 20 Grand Slam titles – a record co-held with Federer and Djokovic – delivered his mental approach.

“Tennis is a sport of defeat,” he explained. “Every week, or almost, we lose. It therefore represents a very important part of tennis, you have to learn to live with it. It’s a tough part of our sport on a mental level. In golf, for example, when you are asked how the tournament went, you say, “I finished 10th, or so.

“In tennis it’s, ‘I lost in the first round, second, etc,'” he continued. “Mentally, the approach is therefore very different. But in the end, I think the greatest personal satisfaction is knowing that you made every effort possible, every day, to try and achieve your goal. Then you achieve it or not, but what brings the most happiness is the fact of having given the maximum of what depends on yourself to get there. It’s stronger than any success.”

Nadal gave no clue as to a possible date for resuming training or returning to competition.

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