Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal insisted that he is not aiming to chase Roger Federer's record Grand Slam tally. However, he admitted that if he manages to eclipse the Swiss legend's haul of 20 titles, it would be an "amazing" feeling for him.
Nadal is now just one Gram Slam short of equalling Federer's all-time record. In 2019, the Spaniard captured his 12th Roland Garros title and fourth US Open.
Last month, the 33-year-old secured the year-end no.1 position, which saw him become the oldest player to do so. This year has been a spectacular season for the Spaniard, as he won four titles on tour and he also helped Spain clinch the Davis Cup crown.
Nadal spoke with the reporters in Abu Dhabi before making his 10th appearance at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship exhibition. He was asked if he is looking forward to surpassing Federer's record.
He replied, "I can't say yes because honestly I just work on my diary basis. I have to do my things the best way possible and then to just give myself chances to keep being competitive at the highest level possible. So if that happens, great, if not, I just gave my best all my career to be in the position that I am today. And obviously, of course, increase the number of 20, or tying 20 would be something amazing, but I cannot complain at all. I'm super happy the way I am having my tennis career, I gave my best all the time and I'm proud about the way I worked and the way I enjoyed the tennis during all these years. So I just really believe and hope that I can keep having the chance to keep going and keep having fun and keep giving myself chances to compete at the highest level."
Nadal participated in the Davis Cup, which indicates that he finished his 2019 season much later than usual. Meanwhile, the Spaniard revealed that he has already started preparing for the upcoming season.
Nadal will take on either Karen Khachanov or Hyeon Chung in Abu Dhabi on Friday. Then, he would resume his pre-season training in Spain ahead of the Australian Open.