“I’ll tell you one thing, and I say it with my hand on my heart,” Nadal told Spanish media following his straight-sets win over Marcos Giron on Monday.
“I understand this whole GOAT ‘movie’ that has been built around all of this. I live in my day to day, and my day to day and my concerns are different to all this about being the best in history.
“I am being honest, this is not a show. In the end, we have coincided as three players who have obviously achieved special things in the history of our sport. No one had done them before. If someone ends up winning more, then fantastic; really. Somehow, the three of us have far exceeded any of our expectations from when we were young.
“We have all fulfilled our dream and we have surpassed it by quite a bit. And the reality is that I am very happy with everything that has happened until today. That doesn’t mean that I don’t want to continue enjoying what I do, but I don’t live with the inner anguish or desperation of wanting to be the one with the most (Grand Slams).
“If it comes, it comes. I don’t think my future happiness depends on whether I end up winning one more Grand Slam than Novak or Roger. I will continue doing what I do to continue enjoying my career to the fullest.”
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“Not much went to plan today to be honest except that I won,” Zverev said in his on-court interview.
“But that’s how it is sometimes. It’s the first round of hopefully a very long tournament. You’re not always going to play your best tennis, except if you’re Roger [Federer] or Rafa [Nadal] you always come out and you’re always perfection. But I’m not like them. So it was a good match for me to get into the tournament, hopefully the next one will be better.”
Rafa has a chat with chair umpire Fergus Murphy between games about the speed at which the serve countdown clock was being reset during his first round match against Marcos Giron.
Rafa is sporting a purple, white and mint combo this year, complete with his iconic headband, sweatbands.
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