Rafael Nadal spoke about the upcoming Australian Open, the next generation of tennis and especially about Alexander Zverev.
After his foot problems, which cost him much of the past year, Rafael Nadal will soon return to the big tennis stage at the Australian Open.
“I’m overjoyed to be able to compete with the others again. That means everything to me!”, Said Nadal, who had missed almost five months due to his left foot complaints, to “Sport Bild” and added: “It was one hard time being gone for so long – especially when you think you can still play at the maximum level. And I think so. “
The 35-year-old seems to be in top shape and most recently won the preparatory tournament in Melbourne. So it’s no wonder that the Spaniard is already thinking of (further) titles. “When I compete and play a tournament, I always have the highest expectations – with all due respect for my opponents,” said Nadal. “But I won’t know where I really stand until the tournament is over.” However, he would not be there if he did not believe in his 21st victory in a Grand Slam tournament.
With that he would surpass Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, both of whom have 20 wins. But this possibility is “nothing that robs me of sleep,” said Nadal.
Nadal on the best tennis player in the world
Meanwhile, the Spaniard did not want to clearly name the best tennis player of all time. “I’m glad my name is on this discussion,” he said with a laugh. The best player at the moment is clearly Djokovic, because: “The world rankings don’t lie.”
The three possible successors of the current top trio around him, Djokovic and Federer – namely Alexander Zverev, Danill Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas – called Nadal “great players”, there is no doubt about that. “Medvedev won the US Open, Zverev the ATP finals. That
are the facts. They will have a great fight for number one, “said Nadal.
When asked what impresses him most about Germany’s number one, the 35-year-old said: Zverev is “a great player
and has improved a lot over the past two years. His game has reached the next level. “Nadal made” his serve and his backhand “as the greatest weapon of the 24-year-old from Hamburg.
After the career, Nadal may want to work as a coach. He has already laid the foundation for this with his tennis academy. “I
don’t exclude anything: never say never, “says Nadal tellingly.