MELBOURNE – Rafael Nadal has been in the grand slam semi-finals for thirty times. At the Australian Open, if successful, he can win a record 21st title in the Big Four tournaments and bounce back to his rivals Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. But the Spaniard is especially happy that he is playing after last year’s health problems and that he has two days off before the fight for the finals.
“I don’t hope for anything, I just keep going. I honestly don’t care what might happen in the future.” said thirty-five-year-old Nadal in Melbourne. He does not cling to the fight with the Serb Djokovic and the Swiss Federer for the highest number of grand slam laurels. “I won’t be frustrated when Novak or Roger ends a career with more grand slams than I do. We won’t enjoy this.” he said.
However, the Spaniard is currently in a better position, who is divided by two matches won from the title at the Australian Open. Djokovic had to leave the day before the start of the tournament after a closely watched case and visa withdrawal from Australia, and Federer is still recovering from knee surgery.
So far, Nadal has returned to the courts after last year’s foot injury, due to which he has not played since August. “It was very uncomfortable mentally. I didn’t know what to do with it for a long time. Sometimes I trained for twenty minutes, sometimes three-quarters of an hour and it was different every day.” he mentioned. “But I kept my desire and passion, and that’s why I’m still here. I’m glad I’m playing.”
It was a bit of a miracle
He dominated the tournament in Melbourne before the Australian Open and now defeated Denis Shapovalov in five sets in the quarterfinals. “It was a bit of a miracle,” admitted the winner of the 2009 tournament, who suffered from stomach problems in a duo with a 22-year-old Canadian. “I was more lucky at the beginning of the fifth set. It was an incredibly difficult match, but I’m moving on and that’s great, isn’t it?”
Before the semifinals, Nadal has two days off since this year’s match composition, which he welcomed. “I don’t have twenty-one anymore, so I’m very happy to rest,” Spanish tennis player smiled.
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