Despite being very close to reclaiming the no.1 spot in the ATP Rankings at the ongoing Rogers Cup, Rafael Nadal has insisted that his priorities are different. The Spaniard added that he is currently focused on preparing and playing the right way, just like he had done for the first part of 2017.
"I don't even think about that now, I'm trying to have the right preparation now and that's it. I'm going to keep trying to play the way I did in the first part of the season, so if I'm able to make that happen, I hope to have a chance to do well", said Nadal to AFP reporters.
Nadal, who last held the top spot on 6 July 2014, has had a hugely successful 2017 so far, as he reached the final of the Australian Open and won his 10th French Open title. And now he stands a chance to reclaim the World No.1 spot if he reaches the semi-finals of the Canadian Open being held in Montreal, given that Andy Murray has been ruled out of the tournament with a hip injury.
Moreover, 31-year-old also has three previous successes in Canada, in 2005, 2008 and 2013. Nonetheless, he is likely to face several tricky opponents including Milos Raonic, John Isner, and the dangerous Juan Martin del Potro.
“Early in my career, there was Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt, a lot of good players. Roger Federer was there, and Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray came a little later. That was a long time ago already, too. The only difference is that we’re older. In the past year-and-a-half, there’s been a good new generation that increased the number of top players, but that’s sport in general”, he added.
2017 has seen a revival of the famed 'Fedal' rivalry with either of the duo winning all three Grand Slams so far, as Federer won the Australian Oen and Wimbledon while Nadal won Roland Garros. And the Spaniard revealed the secret to the duo's longevity in the game, saying, “We love what we are doing. We have the passion to compete and play tennis, so that helps us to be professional and do the right things on and off the court. If you are healthy, it’s much easier to keep playing longer. The mental aspect isn’t difficult if you love the sport. We’re privileged to work for a living at one of our hobbies."