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I don’t mind if Djokovic or Federer win more Slams than me, says Nadal

The philosopher of the Big Three gave his perspective on the race for 21 Grand Slams

Rafael Nadal Spain’s Rafael Nadal celebrates winning his quarter final match against Canada’s Denis Shapovalov (Panoramic)

Australian Open 2022 | Draw Order of play 

Rafael Nadal is into the semi-finals of the Australian Open, two wins away from his 21st Grand Slam and edging ahead of the two absent members of the Big Three, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.

But after beating Denis Shapovalov in the Melbourne quarter-finals, the Spaniard said he was not motivated by the possibility of reaching that milestone, adding that he felt it was a “real honour” to be equal on 20 Slams with the other two.

“I don’t hope anything, I just keep going,” he told reporters in his post-match press conference. “I am just enjoying playing tennis, as I said hundreds of times. But honestly, and from the bottom of my heart, I really don’t – of course I want to keep winning, but more than because I want to achieve or I want to have more than the others is because I love what I am doing. I want to keep doing this as long as possible.”

He referred to the doubts about the longevity of his career after suffering the foot injury that had kept him out of action for the latter part of 2021, saying: “Of course the last six months have been a lot of, six months, more, have been a lot of doubts if I would be able to keep going. But now I feel good. We are in a position that we won a tournament, we are in semi-finals of Australian Open, so that’s amazing for me.”

Nadal – my happiness doesn’t depend on the number of Slams I win

The 35-year-old has been in particularly philosophical form during the last month, and he continued in that vein when speculating on the possibilities for his future.

“Honestly I really don’t care that much,” he smiled. “I don’t believe that my happiness, my future happiness is going to depend on if I achieve one more Grand Slam than the others or if the others achieve more Grand Slams than me.

“I am super satisfied and feel very lucky person in general for all the things that happen to me in this life. I have a way to approach life. You can’t be always frustrated if the neighbour has a bigger house than you or a better phone or a better thing. I’m not going to be frustrated if Novak or Roger finishes the career with more Grand Slams than me.

“I mean, let’s enjoy the situation that we did, every one of us, we did very special things in our sport. Let’s enjoy that. Doesn’t matter the other thing.”

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