Rafael Nadal opens up: 'Novak Djokovic and I have different approach'
Turning 35 in a couple of weeks, Rafael Nadal is still passionate about tennis, giving his best every day to improve his game and chase more notable titles in the next couple of years.
Not thinking about retirement, the 20-time Major champion still trains every day to follow his goals and remain competitive at the top, knowing that he can't play until 45. Speaking about the records and his rivalry with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, Rafa admitted that he takes a different approach than the Serb, who is more obsessed with the number of Major titles than him.
"I like to enjoy life. I'm very proud that I have been a professional tennis player for years while always finding time to enjoy things off the court. I'm 34, and I have to find time to relax. I will not be playing until 45, although I always try to do the best things and extend my career. The retirement will come one day, but I'm happy with what I'm doing now. I'm enjoying my tennis life and would love to extend it for a couple of more years. I'm still passionate and want to win more Majors, but I'm not obsessed with that like Novak Djokovic. Don't get me wrong; it's nothing negative, and those things mean a lot to him.
Novak is always focused on records; I respect that, but my approach is different. I'm also ambitious, but probably in another way than Novak. I'm super happy about my career. Not only now, but I was also satisfied with it for years. Still, that didn't stop my motivation, although I don't get frustrated if I don't win some tournaments. I know that I have achieved some incredible things, but I don't have too much time to think about numbers and records. When I finish my career, I will have more time to analyze them. Currently, I'm focused on the things in front of me, playing and practicing with the same attitude every day to put myself in a position of being competitive.
Of course, having great rivals helps you to become better. I had Roger Federer at first, with Novak Djokovic coming a bit later. We have pushed each other to always chasing higher goals, but I still believe that my motivation is more significant than the one I mentioned. I'm playing for myself, my team, family and fans, not for my rivals. I embrace my practice sessions every day to improve my game, and not because I have Roger and Novak in front of me," Rafael Nadal said.