Rafael Nadal - US Open 2022

Rafael Nadal ‘thought first Grand Slam was going to be the only one’

Rafael Nadal has spoken about how his goals have changed over time, admitting that he never had a specific plan to win Grand Slam titles.

Nadal has won a total of 22 major titles, which was the leading men’s total until Novak Djokovic overtook the Spaniard earlier this year.

The former No.1 has spent the majority of 2023 on the sidelines, having tore his psoas muscle in his second round defeat at the Australian Open.

However, Nadal has revealed that he will officially be returning at the upcoming Brisbane International before heading to Melbourne for the Australian Open, for what he has admitted is likely to be his final year on tour.

With the anticipation rising for Nadal’s his long-awaited return, the 37-year-old has spoken about how he has never specifically focussed on winning a Grand Slam title.

“When I was a kid, I never said to myself ‘I want to win a Grand Slam, I want to win Grand Slams, I want to be the best’,” explained Nadal. “I was thinking about the tournament of the next week.”

He continued, “And when I won my first Grand Slam [Roland Garros 2005], I thought it was going to be the only one I’d win. And then, every time, I won a Grand Slam. I was amazed, I thought, now I can really relax. It’ll probably be my last one. Now I’ve achieved something and that’s already huge.”

Nadal will officially return at the Brisbane International, that begins on Sunday 31st December, and also features the likes of Holger Rune, Grigor Dimitrov and Andy Murray.

Inside the baseline…

Rafael Nadal has been one of the most consistent names on the ATP Tour, having remained in the top 10 from 2005 until earlier this year, despite all of his various injury setbacks. A lot of Nadal’s Grand Slam success is due to his dominance at Roland Garros, but he has also won a share of eight titles at the three other major tournaments.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.