World No. 1 tennis player Rafael Nadal said on Tuesday ahead of his first win at the Shanghai Rolex Masters that he now cherishes victory more after suffering a series of injuries.
Tennis superstar Rafael Nadal wins his first match at the Shanghai Rolex Masters in Shanghai, Oct. 11, 2107. [Photo/ China.org.cn]
"Of course injury is not a positive thing," Nadal said, "Because it is better when you don't have injuries, but at the same time the only positive thing about injury is when you come back and when you have success, you appreciate it even more."
"It is not my first time to get injured and then win tournaments later," he added, "Of course it is a nice feeling to win, but is a feeling that I already had a few times in my career."
The Spanish player has won his sixth title of the year at the China Open tennis tournament on Sunday in Beijing. Now he is playing at the Shanghai Rolex Masters where his old rival Roger Federer is eyeing top place.
Nadal has suffered from knee problems for several years, but he had little trouble dispatching American Jared Donaldson 6-2, 6-1 within just 54 minutes in his first match in Shanghai on Wednesday. The final will be on Sunday if he can make it that far.
The megastar didn't consider his current ATP ranking at No.1 in the world as a pressure or a motivation. "The main goal for me is to be healthy and to be competitive every week that I have been playing. That's something that happened this year, and that's the most important thing for me."
But if Nadal wants to retain the No.1 ranking for the year, he would need to win the Shanghai title, which he has never managed in the past, and Federer would have to lose prior to the semifinals.
"Now I am No.1. Of course finishing the year at No. 1 is something a little bit different," Nadal said, "And, yeah, if that happens, it will be a great achievement but there remains a lot to do and I need to play well."
Nadal kept believing through the years and learnt to adapt his playing style, and like everyone else, he lost things he once had when he was younger, so "you need to act on other things to keep being competitive," he said.
"The best news for me is after many years I am still competitive," Nadal said, "I still enjoying tennis. I think I am able to adapt my game to the new times. That's an important thing for me, and I feel lucky for that. But at the same time, I feel that I worked all my life with the right attitude and passion for and love for this sport to try to make that happen."
Tennis superstar Roger Federer plays against Diego Schwartzman at the Shanghai Rolex Masters in Shanghai, Oct. 11, 2107. [Photo/ China.org.cn]
Also on Wednesday’s play, Roger Federer, the 2014 Shanghai tournament champion, worked hard for his 7-6 (4), 6-4 second round win over Diego Schwartzman of Argentina. Nadal and Federer could meet in a potential final scenario for the 38th time, which is anticipated this year in Shanghai.