“Backed Me At All Times”: Rafael Nadal Reveals His Priceless Possessions That Helped Him Succeed

Published 12/04/2020, 4:38 AM EST
Spain’s Rafael Nadal in action during his semi-final match against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

Twenty-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal has opened up on his incredible measure of success at Roland-Garros. The Spaniard lifted an unprecedented 13th straight French Open trophy this year, tying him with Roger Federer at 20 Grand Slam titles apiece.


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No special ingredient for success, says Rafael Nadal

Featuring in a live Spanish show, Nadal was asked to share his secret for success and what makes him tick at Roland-Garros. “I don’t think there’s any secret ingredient (to success), we’ll have to find our own half and what works for each one, in order to create your own way of offering your best and your peak performance,” Nadal said.


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Nadal says his family never pushed him into the sport

The Spaniard also attributed his success to his family who backed him through the good times and bad and helped him become the champion that he is today.

“There have been certain things in my life, I think I’ve had a great family that has backed me at all times, and besides helping me at all times, they have eased my mind whenever I needed it,” Nadal said. Also, when I was a kid, my family never pressured me into doing any kind of sport. They did pressure me into getting good grades, of course. But when it comes to sports, I had my uncle (Toni). Yeah, he did press me a little bit.” 


Had help whenever I needed it, says Rafa

The Spaniard said that a good bit of credit for what he is today should also go to the professionals who have been around him and his friends. He said:

“I have had a great professional team and I’ve had great friends all throughout my life, who have helped me whenever I needed it. They have known what they needed to give me at any given time. There are times when you can demand more from people and there are moments when you can ask them for less.” 


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Talking about his own personality, Nadal said he has always been someone who is open to advise. “I think I’m a person who’s very flexible when it comes to listening and abiding and also when it comes to being self-critical, being demanding with myself and attaining my own goals,” he said.

Rafael Nadal says he’s content with where he has reached

Nadal conceded that there were hardships and injuries along the way, but he is largely content with where he has reached in his career. He said, “I managed to reach this point, I’m here today and I think it’s been a happy journey. It’s (also) been a hard journey, there are a lot of hard things in one’s life. I’ve had very hard injuries, and those have been hard times, but I think I’ve been incredibly lucky. I’ve almost always had more positives than negatives in my life and I have made efforts to ensure that it remains this way.”

(All quotes have been translated)

Spain’s Rafael Nadal in action during his semi final match against Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman REUTERS/Charles Platiau

The Spaniard ended the season ranked second and missed out on yet another opportunity to end his trophy-less spell at the ATP Finals.


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Priyabrata Chowdhury

977 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.