Tennis-Nadal focused on enjoying his tennis, not Grand Slam record

  • Tennis
  • Tuesday, 25 Jan 2022

Tennis - Australian Open - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia - January 25, 2022 Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates winning his quarter final match against Canada's Denis Shapovalov REUTERS/Loren Elliott

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Rafa Nadal said there would be no regrets if he failed to claim another Grand Slam title after moving within two wins of a record 21st at the Australian Open.

The Spanish great survived a five-set scare against Canada's Denis Shapovalov at Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday to reach his seventh semi-finals at Melbourne Park.

With Novak Djokovic deported before the tournament and Roger Federer recovering from knee surgery, Nadal has a chance to grab the all-time record outright at Melbourne Park but he said it would not matter to him if he missed out.

"I don't hope (for) anything. I just keep going," he told reporters.

"In terms of what can happen in the future, honestly I really don't care that much.

"I'm not going to be frustrated if Novak or Roger finishes the career with more Grand Slams than me, no?

"I mean, let's enjoy the situation that we did, every one of us, we did very special things in our sport."

From being worried his career was in jeopardy a couple of months ago as he struggled to recover from a foot problem, Nadal will contest his 36th Grand Slam semi-final on Friday.

Having the extra day's break will be a huge blessing for the 35-year-old after his four-hour slog in the heat against 14th seed Shapovalov.

With 22-year-old Shapovalov roaring back from two sets down to take the match into a fifth, Nadal said it was a "little bit of a miracle" that he managed to outlast the Canadian.

"I was destroyed, honestly, physically," said Nadal, who took a medical timeout off court after Shapovalov took the fourth set.

"But my serve worked well, and for me, every game that I was winning with my serve was a victory.

"Of course in the beginning of the fifth set ... I was very worried.

"But more than (that), I thought (it was) going to be super difficult to win that match.

"But here I am ... it's an amazing news, no?"

(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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