Rafael Nadal speaks on athletes' mental health

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Rafael Nadal speaks on athletes' mental health

Spanish tennis superstar Rafael Nadal insists the fact that Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer also have 20 Grand Slams in their collection doesn't put pressure on him to win more Majors. Nadal, ranked at No. 3 in the world, captured his 20th Grand Slam title after beating Djokovic in last year's French Open final.

Back then, Nadal tied Federer on the all-time Grand Slam list with 20 Grand Slams. This season, Djokovic won the opening three Majors of the season and climbed up to 20 Grand Slams. Nadal had a chance to prevent Djokovic from winning the French Open but he lost to the Serb in the semifinal a few months ago.

“Honestly, it’s the same important as always,” Nadal said, per Tennis Majors. “The fact that Novak has 20, Roger have 20, I have 20 don’t increase the motivation for me, or the pressure. My approach will not change.

I always stay the same. I do my way. If Novak or Roger plays there and win, okay, well done for them. I will not be frustrated for that. I know I achieve something that I never dreamed about, and I gonna keep fighting for, keep doing things”.

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After losing in the French Open semifinal, Nadal skipped Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics. “I don’t think today I am at my 100%,” he said. “The goal is to be closer to that 100% the day I start the tournament”.

Mental health of athletes has been a popular topic over the last few months. Nadal acknowledged that stress is a common thing in sport and recalled his 2015 struggles. “Everybody approaches the issues in a different way,” Nadal said.

“We are under pressure because the competition makes you feel more stress. But, at the same time, we are super lucky persons, you know, because we are able to work on one of our hobbies. The most important thing in this life, in my opinion, is be happy, more than anything else”.

“One approach is stop it for a while and try to recover,” he added before recalling his own experience in 2015 with similar difficulties. “Another approach is just keep trying and accept that you have this problem.

You accept that you will not win. My approach was to keep going and slowly overcome that situation. So I was doing, and after eight months I started to feel much better”.