Rafa Reveals His Personal Text Message To Roger
Rafa insists he isn't obsessed with surpassing Roger's Grand Slam title record
"I immediately sent him a text message (after the Australian Open final)," Nadal said on Monday at the formal opening of the Mapfre Clinic of Tennis Medicine in Madrid, where the current ATP World Tour No.1 fielded questions with the hashtag #AskRafaNadal during a Twitter Q&A session. "I usually congratulate people I know in private rather than publicly. I've had a very good relationship with Federer for years now. I was happy for him; I congratulated him and I told him I'm always happy when he does well."
Federer's victory at the Australian Open nudged his Grand Slam haul to 20, four more majors than Nadal, his closest rival. But according to Nadal, he isn't keeping count -- and it’s for the better.
"I'm always looking at what's in front of me, not what's around me," the Spaniard said. "There's always someone who has achieved more than you or who has earned more than you. You can't let that frustrate you; instead, it's better to be satisfied with what you do, so long as you're giving it your all."
There's a difference between setting high standards and becoming consumed with success, according to Nadal. That extends to the rivalry he shares with his contemporary, Federer. Ultimately, Rafa stressed the importance of being content.
"It's great to be ambitious, but not to excess," Nadal explained. "You'll go insane if you obsess on wanting more and more and more ... the most important thing is to be happy with yourself. Of course, I do everything possible to win the maximum number of tournaments, but I'm not going to spend all my life thinking, 'Federer has won more than me.' I just concentrate on what I can control and focus on that."
Nadal, who turns 32 in June, doesn't know how much longer he'll compete, but he's sure about two things. The first: that he's cherishing the fact that he's still able to play at the highest level -- something he never imagined several years ago. The second: He still believes there's room to improve every day.
"I'm not tired of playing; I'm fortunate and happy to be in this situation at 31 years old," Nadal said. "Years ago, I didn't think I'd be where I am today. I figured that at this point, I'd be retired and dedicating myself to something else. But now, I'm keeping the illusion alive that I can still get better and better. I still have the drive to get up every morning and train with the aim to improve. For as long as that lasts, I'll keep enjoying my time on the Tour and competing week in and week out."