Rafael Nadal Melbourne Summer Set 2022

Rafael Nadal not ‘desperate’ to beat Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer to greatest of all time status

Rafael Nadal has revealed he does not “live with the inner anguish or desperation” to end his career as the most successful male play of all time, but just wants to continue enjoying his tennis.

All three of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Nadal boast a historic 20 Grand Slam titles apiece as they compete against each other to end their careers as the most successful male player ever.

After almost two decades of dominance, the era of the ‘Big Three’ may be nearing its end with Swiss maestro Federer last gracing a court in a heavy defeat to Hubert Hurkacz at Wimbledon last year.

Federer has been recovering from a third knee surgery and could make a long-awaited return at Wimbledon.

Meanwhile, Djokovic also had his medical exemption and visa cancelled twice and was deported just one day before the Australian Open began. His French Open hopes have also been plunged into doubt by his refusal to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

Despite previous assurances he could play Roland Garros regardless of his vaccination status, French parliament voted to approve vaccine passes that would require certificate of vaccination for entry into public spaces. These rules will apply to professional athletes with “no exemptions.”

As such, Nadal is the only one of the ‘Big Three’ currently competing at the Australian Open, reaching the third round without dropping a single set.

Speaking to Spanish media after his first round victory over Marcos Giron, Nadal saidĀ “I understand this whole greatest of all time ā€˜movieā€™ that has been built around all of this.

“I live in my day to day, and my day to day and my concerns are different to all this about being the best in history.

“I am beingĀ honest, this is not a show. In the end, we have coincided as three players who have obviously achieved special things in the history of our sport.

“No one had done them before. If someone ends up winning more, then fantastic; really. Somehow, the three of us have far exceeded any of our expectations from when we were young.

“We have all fulfilled our dream and we have surpassed it by quite a bit. And the reality is that I am very happy with everything that has happened until today.

“That doesn’t mean that I don’t want to continue enjoying what I do, but I don’t live with the inner anguish or desperation of wanting to be the one with the most (Grand Slams).

“If it comes, it comes. I don’t think my future happiness depends on whether I end up winning one more Grand Slam than Novak [Djokovic] or Roger [Federer]. I will continue doing what I do to continue enjoying my career to the fullest.”

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.