Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Nadal: I’d rather win tour events than slams

Poised to become the first man to win eight French Opens, Nadal makes his long-awaited return to Grand Slam tennis.

The Spaniard, who goes into Roland Garros having already surpassed Björn Borg's mark of six titles in 2012, and having lost just once in 53 matches on the Paris red dirt, was keen to play down fevered talk that the 2013 trophy was his for the taking.

"The Grand Slams are not the only tournaments on the tour," said Nadal, who has won six titles in eight finals since his return to the tour following a seven-month lay-off to rest his injured knee.

"When I go on court playing in a Grand Slam or playing in a Masters 1 000 or playing in a 500 or 250, my feeling is try my best and try to play with the same passion in every tournament.

"It's true that the Grand Slams are special tournaments. But for me, winning Barcelona, winning Madrid, winning Rome means a lot. I don't take these tournaments like preparation for Roland Garros, seriously.

"So if you can ask me if I win one Grand Slam during the whole year or win six tournaments like I already did, I will choose win six tournaments," he said.

"Because when you win a Grand Slam you are happy one week or two weeks. When you are winning tournaments you are having the chance to be happy and you feel that you are doing the right things during the rest of the time, no?"

First slam event since his shock
This French Open represents Nadal's first Grand Slam event since his shock second-round exit to Czech outsider Lukas Rosol at Wimbledon last year, a defeat which sparked his lengthy absence and rehabilitation.

That time away, spent at home in Manacor, has made the 26-year-old appreciate what time he may have left on the tour as he attempts to build on his haul of 11 Grand Slam titles.

"To talk about numbers, to talk about history, you have to analyse when somebody finishes his career, not in the middle, you know," said Nadal.

"And for sure I would like to be remembered like a good guy and a good player."

Nadal's absence also contributed to his number three seeding at the French Open and when the draw was made on Friday, he was placed in the same half as world number one Novak Djokovic.

That will mean defeat for one of them before the final and making a repeat of last year's title match, won by Nadal in four sets, an impossibility.

The Spaniard has a 19-15 record over the Serb, but stresses that talk of a semifinal showdown between the two is premature.

"If a player is not one and two in the world, that can happen and it happened. But the tournament starts from the first round." – AFP

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

‘The children cannot cope any more’: Suicide in Calvinia highlights...

How Covid-19 has intensified the physical and emotional burdens placed on children’s shoulders.

Capitec Bank flies high above Viceroy’s arrow

The bank took a knock after being labelled a loan shark by the short seller, but this has not stymied its growth

More top stories

Council wants Hawks, SIU probe into BAT’s Zimbabwe scandal

The cigarette maker has been accused of giving up to $500 000 in bribes and spying on competitors

How Alpha Condé overthrew Alpha Condé

Since the coup d’état, Guinea’s head of state has been in the custody of the military officers. But it was the president who was the primary architect of his own downfall

‘The Making of Mount Edgecombe’: A view of history from...

Indian indentured labourers’ lives are celebrated in a new book, Sugar Mill Barracks: The Making of Mount Edgecombe

Case of men arrested with 19 rhino horns is postponed

Alleged rhino kingpin and a Mpumalanga businessman appeared in court on charges of the illegal possession and selling of rhino horns
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×