ACAPULCO, Mexico – Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal, currently world number two in the men’s rankings, has said that a key to his success has been to find time to invest in his happiness.
Speaking to a press conference on Monday, the Spaniard, who was set to take part in the Mexican Open tournament which he has previously won in both 2005 and 2013, said that although tennis has been an important aspect of his life, he did not spend all his time thinking about it and that he often plays other sports and activities to make him happy.
“One of my successes is that as well as being a good professional I have found the time to be happy and this is something I would like to transmit to young people because if you do things well, there is time to do other things,” Nadal said.
The tennis player added that this philosophy was something he was keen to convey to the young people who go to his Academy in his native Mallorca, in the Balearic Islands west of mainland Spain.
The second-seed said he was keen to dedicate more time to the Rafa Nadal Academy once he had retired but that, for now, he did as much as he could for the school by scouting the best trainers in a bid to create a team of budding Spanish tennis players.
“We are pleased with Jaume Munar, who is already ranked 61st in the world,” Nadal said of the 21-year-old, adding that he too was from Mallorca, near Manacor, the tennis champion’s hometown.
Monday marked the first day of training for Nadal after a short break due to a wrist injury and although he admitted he was not at his best level he said he was ready to compete in Acapulco, where he is set to take on Mischa Zverev of Germany.
“I have not been able to train much these days but I am happy to be back in Acapulco,” Nadal continued.
“He is an aggressive player, uncomfortable, and I hope to be prepared to take him on as best as I can,” the Spaniard said of his opponent, Zverev.
Nadal acknowledged that modern tennis has increased in speed, something that as a spectator he doesn’t like much, adding, however, that his opinion on the matter was of little importance.
“There is a trend to think less and to play more aggressively but this is the evolution that perhaps the ATP is seeking. My opinion is not important when it comes to the spectacle, perhaps we should ask fans,” he added.
“I have injured myself more than any other of my rivals but I have been in the top ten since 2005. I have not suffered injuries that have left me out of the game for months. We aren’t talking of a short career,” the Spaniard said.
Nadal took the time to praise his fellow countryman, David Ferrer, who on Tuesday would be bidding farewell to tennis at the Mexican tournament, marking the end of his professional career on the court.
“David is a good colleague. He’s been a friend both on the court and off it. Aside from being a wonderful person, he has been a steady player working at a high level on a daily basis,” Nadal said.
“He is one of those players who when you saw win you were happy for him,” Nadal concluded.