Paris - Rafael Nadal insists that he has no desire to become
locked into an arms race with Roger Federer to surpass his great rival's 20
Grand Slam titles.
Nadal clinched an 11th French Open with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-2
victory against Dominic Thiem on Sunday to take his majors total to 17.
That's three behind Federer who is more than four years
However, the 32-year-old Nadal said such targets do not
concern him, believing his caution is well-placed after an injury-hit career
which has seen him sit out nine Grand Slam tournaments.
"I have never been crazy about this kind of
stuff," said Nadal.
"You can't always be frustrated if somebody has more
money than you, a bigger house than you, if somebody has more Grand Slams than
"You can't live with this feeling.
"Of course I would love to have 20 like Roger in the
future or even more but it's not something that is on my mind."
Even this year, injury has continued to hound Nadal with a hip
problem forcing him to quit his Australian Open quarter-final against Marin
He missed the North America hardcourt season and only
returned in time for the European clay-court season.
On Sunday, he even halted play in the third set due to
cramping in his finger that affected his blood circulation.
"It was scary," he admitted.
Nadal plans to return to Paris in 2019 and try and clinch a
12th title at Roland Garros.
But he remains philosophical about the rest of his career
which has so far yielded 17 majors, 79 titles in total as well as more than
$100 million in prize money.
"You can't fight against age and you can't fight
against the watch. The watch keeps going always. So that's it.
"If you tell me seven, eight years ago that I will be
here at 32 years old having this trophy with me again, I will tell you that is
something almost impossible, but here we are.
"So I am not much worried about the future. Tennis is a
very important part of my life, without a doubt, but is not everything."
Next on the campaign trail for Nadal is Wimbledon where he
was a two-time champion in 2008 and 2010.
However, his recent record at the All England Club has been
Last year, he lost 15-13 in the fifth set of his last-16 tie
against Gilles Muller.
Since his last title in London eight years ago, he has also
suffered a first round exit as well as two defeats in the second round.
"I would love to be playing in as many places as
possible, but you understand I need to check how I feel in the next couple of
days," said Nadal as he pondered his preparation for Wimbledon which gets
underway in three weeks' time.
He is currently entered to play the Queen's Club tournament
"It is a drastic change from clay to grass. And I did
it in the past when I was much younger, quicker, because I played back to back.
"But it's time to check how I feel in the next couple
Victory on Sunday meant that Nadal became just the fourth
man of the modern era to win three or more Grand Slam titles after turning 30,
joining Federer, Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall.
Australia's Rosewall was in the crowd on Sunday to see the
final, 50 years after he won the title in Paris.
"I'm just glad I'm not playing today," said
Rosewall in a nod to the raw power of Nadal.