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Rafael Nadal says were it not for tennis, he would have become a footballer

"I have achieved much more than I could dream of in tennis," Rafael Nadal says

MADRID, August 23. /TASS/. World No. 2 Spaniard Rafael Nadal thinks he could have become a football player if his life was not connected with tennis, he said in an exclusive interview with TASS.

"I know that sport is my passion, and if not for tennis, I would have certainly wanted to become a footballer, but no one can ever learn this," the 33-year old tennis player said.

According to the world No. 2, many factors are important in succeeding in a sports career. "Talent or natural aptitude is one of the key elements," he underlined. "But so are work, mindset, effort, passion."

The Spanish tennis player believes that in the course of his professional career he has managed to achieve more than he could dream of, he told TASS.

"I think that in my sports career I have achieved much more than what I could dream of or expect," the 33-year old athlete underlined. "I like competition, and when I retire [from tennis], it will be a moment to look back and see what was achieved. For now, I like competing and preparing my future for retirement."

Nadal, who is currently No. 2 in the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) rankings, could not say how many more years he still has to play. "This is a question I am frequently asked, but I can’t answer it," the Spaniard stressed. "I always say that as long as I am healthy, as long as I feel good physically, as long as I can do full training sessions and have opportunities to win important tournaments, I will keep playing tennis. When one of these elements is lost, this will be a moment to think whether I should stop."

Asked about the toughest match in his career, the tennis player could not single out one. "I think that my career has had many tough matches, I was lucky to be a part of many memorable matches," he said. "It would be difficult to name just one."

Speaking about his hobbies and time off, Nadal professed that he likes spending quality time with his family at home. "I enjoy fishing, like playing golf and meeting with friends. The usual stuff," he added.

Nadal is ranked second by the number of Grand Slam victories in the history of tennis (18). The Spaniard is a two-time Wimbledon champion (2008, 2010), 12-time French Open winner (2005-2008, 2010-2014, 2017-2019), three-time US Open champion (2010, 2013, 2017) and one-time Australian Open winner (2009). Swiss Roger Federer is holding the all-time record of Grand Slam victories (20).