Rafael Nadal was awarded Spanish Vanity Fair’s 2012 Male Personality of the Year in Madrid on Monday. The award was presented at the Italian embassy in Madrid, and Rafa even threw on a suit and wet his hair for the occasion. Nice to see Rafa out and about, as opposed to sitting on a boat, scuba diving, and stretching.
In an interview with the magazine, Nadal, who has been off the tour since June in an attempt to heal the tendinitis in his knees, admitted he does not know how much longer he’ll be playing tennis.
“I don’t know how long I will keep playing tennis. I’ll be 31 in five years and taking into account the fact that I started at 16 … Perhaps stopping now will help extend my career a little bit more. Until I had the problems with the knee again, the final at Roland Garros, had been one of the best seasons of my life. I felt able to win any competition. Complicated times came later,” Nadal said.
“Success is not the victory, it’s what you’ve done to win. The knowledge that you’ve done everything in your power to achieve what you wanted. That feeling makes me very happy. This year I lost the final in Australia and I didn’t like it, but I was happy in some ways. It was a success to have lost like that,” the tennis star said.
Are his quotes a cause for concern? Unlikely. Nadal’s extended break this summer should set him up well for the final third of his career, with the goal to start the 2013 season as healthy as possible.
Sidebar: In the course of pulling these quotes together, many have stumbled upon Rafa’s 2010 Proust Questionaire for Vanity Fair. It’s a fun read, most notable for this question and answer:
Q: Which historical figure do you most identify with?
A: A gladiator … if they really existed.
Come on. You didn’t think a guy whose trademark is a raised eyebrow wasn’t going to be skeptical of gladiators, did you? The guy doesn’t even trust dogs!