Rafael Nadal: ‘We are able to work on one of our hobbies’

After the success in Washington – and the round of 16 on the hard court of Flushing Meadows – Jannik Sinner reconfirmed the title in Sofia. A fundamental success, that of Bulgaria, to maintain a place among the top fifteen players in the world and above all to remain in the wake of Hubert Hurkacz and Casper Ruud in the race to the Finals. The Norwegian, champion in San Diego, in fact settled on box number eight (seven, given the certain absence of Rafa Nadal) at the foot of the penultimate ‘1000’ round of the season. In any case, Indian Wells, Antwerp and Vienna will define the picture in a decisive way. Also because there will presumably be four contending for two places. In short: the Italian talented player, who has already thought about breaking down the vast majority of precocity records, especially the Italian ones, joined the special players club (still in business) with more titles before the age of twenty-one. He obviously leads the Rafael Nadal group, which between 2004 and May 2007 has hooked twenty-one. Nine ‘1000’ and three Grand Slams, so to speak. Behind, but only by three, by three Novak Djokovic, champion at Melbourne Park in 2008. Thanks to the success in the semifinals against the very Spanish champion. Sinner, who had started the season with the success in the ‘250’ in Melbourne at the gates of the first Slam of the season, thanks to the win-two in Bulgaria has hooked Richard Gasquet at an altitude of four. Suffice it to say that a three-time Grand Slam champion like Andy Murray – an integral part of the ‘Fab Four’ until a handful of years ago – was only able to win five. Alexander Zverev stopped at six thanks to the final success in Montreal against Roger Federer.

Rafael Nadal on the issue of mental health

Rafael Nadal was asked to give his thoughts on the issue of mental health in sports, a topic recently brought into the spotlight by Naomi Osaka and American gymnast Simone Biles. The 20-time Major winner pointed out how different athletes have their own way of dealing with their inner demons. “Everybody approaches the issues in a different way,” the 35-year-old said. “We are under pressure because the competition makes you feel more stress. But, at the same time, we are super lucky, you know, because we are able to work on one of our hobbies.” For Nadal, being happy is the “most important thing in life”. “The most important thing in this life, in my opinion, is be happy, more than anything else, (but) sometimes you feel a little bit anxious,” Nadal explained.