"More Important To Be...": Rafael Nadal On His Record 21st Grand Slam Bid
Rafael Nadal, whose only Australian Open triumph came in 2009, said that he never expected that he would get a chance to contest the final once again in 2022
- Nadal reached the final of the Australian Open men's singles event
- Rafael Nadal defeated World No. 7 Matteo Berrettini 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3
- Nadal said said that he never expected to contest another Aus Open final
Rafael Nadal, 20-time Grand Slam champion, on Friday reached the final of the Australian Open men's singles event. The World No. 5 defeated World No. 7 Matteo Berrettini 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 to reach the final of the first Grand Slam of the year. Nadal, whose only Australian Open triumph came in 2009, said that he never expected that he would get a chance to contest the final once again in 2022. "I feel very lucky that I won once in my career here in 2009, but I never thought about another chance in 2022," Nadal was quoted as saying by news agency AFP.
Nadal, who is level on 20 Grand Slams each with rivals Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, said that being in the Australian Open final means more to him than statistics -- referring to his bid to become the all-time men's Grand Slam leader..
"For me at the end it's about more than all these statistics, it's about being in the final of the Australian Open one more time. That means a lot to me. To me it's more important to be in the final of the Australian Open and fight to win another Australian Open than the rest of the statistics for the history of the sport," he said.
A win on Sunday would take him past Federer and Djokovic in the all-time men's singles Grand Slam titles list, with 21.
Speaking about his two rivals, Djokovic and Federer, who were not part of the men's singles draw, Nadal said: "I just feel happy to be part of this amazing era of tennis, sharing all these things with another two players."
"That's it. In some ways it doesn't matter if somebody achieve one more or one less," he added.
Nadal will play either top seed Daniil Medvedev or Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final at the Rod Laver Arena on Sunday.
(With AFP Inputs)