2017 has been a spectacular year for Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal, who has just added the US Open to the French Open he won earlier in the year and returned to number one in the World rankings at a time when many thought the 31-year-old’s career had started to decline.
Speaking to the El Pais newspaper on Tuesday, Nadal stressed that for all of his titles, he is a normal person, reports Xinhua news agency.
“When I’m at home I lead a normal life… I’m just like any other person, like any of my friends,” he said, saying his ‘normality’ was vital.
“That is what matters the most to me, much more than achievements in sport. Human success is more important to me: having friends, having a good relationship with the people around you, having the people who know you say good things about you… That’s the most important thing of all,” continued the tennis star who said that above trophies and titles “what matters the most is being a good person.”
Titles can “bring you a lot of happiness and a lot of adrenaline and a lot of satisfaction, but in the long run, happiness comes from many other things,” he insisted.
However, Nadal admitted that what he does best is play tennis, “we should all be aware of our own limitations, and I tend to know my own quite well,” he said.
When asked if he had any worries, Nadal said all he worried about were “the basic things in life, like health not so much in terms of injuries but more like illnesses.”
And he admitted that the time will come when he has to stop playing, but was confident that his love of sport in general will help him cope.
“It will happen when things don’t go so well… that will be the time to think about doing something else. I’m lucky to be passionate about sport in general, not just tennis, both as a fan and as a player. I’ve often said that when the time comes, there will be many other things to make me very happy,” he concluded.