Records not the main focus for Nadal
Originally published on: 05/06/12 00:00
Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have been taking it in turns at the French Open to establish new records. Playing on alternate days, the Spaniard and the Swiss seem to pass new milestones with each victory.
Federer has overtaken Jimmy Connors’ all-time mark of Grand Slam victories and extended his own record of consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final appearances to 32. Nadal, meanwhile, lost just 19 games in reaching the quarter-finals, the fewest he has dropped in the first four rounds at Roland Garros. Should he win the title on Sunday, he will become the first man to win the French Open seven times.
Nadal, nevertheless, is not a man to pay much attention to records. The world No.2 prefers to take each match at a time and never looks beyond his next opponent.
“To me, what you do daily is the most important thing,” Nadal said. “For me, a seventh Roland Garros win is not more important than No.2, No.3, or No.4. What really is important is what it brings me personally. If I win this one, and it's the seventh one, is it more important than 2006 or 2005? I don't know. It's a personal feeling, a personal sensation. Records are all very important, but that's when you've finished playing tennis. When you finish, you'll think about this.”
He added: “I've heard a lot about records. Roger has many under his belt. And if I look at Federer, he's beaten a number of records. And in the recent past I've had some. People have talked about them. They might be excellent, but why should we talk about them? He's beaten so many of them. He's aiming to be No.1 again – that would be what I call beating a record.”
As for assessing the value of his previous titles at Roland Garros, Nadal was clear. “For me, the first one was very important, the second time I won was very important, and the third one as well. Each Roland Garros tournament was important. And for me this French Open is as important as the other six. No more and no less.”