Roland-Garros: “It means a lot to share the 20 with Federer”, savors Nadal

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With his eternal humility, Rafael Nadal comments on his entry into the very closed circle of… Roger Federer. These two are inseparable.

Roger Federer, whom you equal, was one of the first to congratulate you. What does this inspire you?

RAFAEL NADAL. Everyone knows the great relationship and respect we have for each other. He is happy when I win, I am happy when he does things right. To me our relationship means a lot and I thank him. I don’t hide that I would like to finish playing with the most Grand Slams but I have to follow my path, work. I’m not going to think all the time that Novak won this or Roger won that. You have to live your life and that’s what I’ve always done. Of course I am a fan of the history of sport, I respect it and it means a lot to share the 20 with Roger. A rivalry for so long, it’s beautiful. But we are still playing. Let’s wait and see the end of our careers …

Were the first two sets your best at Roland Garros?

For two and a half sets I played at an extraordinary level, I can’t say anything else (smile). It’s impossible to have such a score against Novak without playing well. I am proud, my personal satisfaction is great especially considering the conditions which are not those which I would have chosen to play such an event. I was able to adapt, to be positive in all situations, to accept all challenges. I just tried to work with the right determination everyday while pursuing my goals. It’s one of the Roland-Garros that is most valuable to me.

Do you manage to savor despite the circumstances?

It’s a very important day for me but I’m not stupid. There is always a sticky situation for everyone. I’m happy, but not as much as usual. We didn’t take advantage of the crowd, of this great atmosphere. I’m not going to think differently because I won. I don’t forget and hope it will improve soon.

Did you doubt a lot before Roland-Garros?

Doubts are a part of life and it’s good because you don’t consider yourself too good. My preparation was not perfect but at the same time, I trained a lot on land instead of playing the American tour. My confidence level improved every day, as did my feeling with the ball. When you play against Novak, you can’t be too confident. But I was positive …

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