Rafael Nadal insists that he does not focus on pursuing Roger Federer's record Grand Slam success, but admits that it would be "astonishing" if he took the Swiss stars' record of 20 majors won in could overshadow.
Nadal's feat in 2019 led him to win the 12th Roland Garros and the fourth US Open. The Spaniard is now just a slam behind Federer's record.
At 33, Nadal became the oldest year of the No. 1 when he secured this position last month after touring four titles with the Spanish Davis Cup crown in an enormous season.
"Happy to accomplish these things, but I would like five years less," Nadal joked with reporters on Thursday before his 10th appearance at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi.
“It was a magical year because it was a good start, but then I had a few very difficult months with injuries.
“Then I came back and I came back well. I started playing at a very high level again. I enjoyed a lot of great moments on the pitch, very emotional moments, Roland Garros, Rome, then New York, the finale was fantastic, and then of course the season ended with the Davis Cup title on home soil, an unforgettable experience at the end so. "
Nadal's Davis Cup participation meant he had to end his 2019 season later than usual – on November 24th – and the Mallorcan said he had just started preparing for 2020 just a week and a half ago.
He will get an idea of where his level is when he deals with Karen Khachanov or Chung Hyeon in the Emirate's capital on Friday before continuing his training in his home country before the Australian summer.
When asked whether Federer's usurpation was a main goal for him, the high-ranking Nadal said: "I can't say yes because, to be honest, I only work on a diary basis. I have to do my best and then give myself the chance to remain competitive at the highest level.
“When that happens, great, if not, I just did my best to be in the position that I am today. And of course it would be amazing to increase or tie 20, but I have no complaints at all.
"I am super happy with my tennis career, did my best all the time and am proud of the way I have worked and how I have enjoyed tennis over the years.
"So I really believe and hope that I can continue to have the chance to have fun and give myself the chance to compete at the highest level."
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