Rafael Nadal says his 12th French Open title has been down to him drastically’ changing his mentality after seeing his 2019 season threatened by injury.
The world number beat Dominic Thiem in the final at Roland Garros as he claimed his 18th Grand Slam crown.
However, it all could have been so different had he not taken steps to win his battle with injury this year.
“I’ve had too many issues,” Nadal admitted after the match, “so that makes these last few weeks very, very special.
“One possibility was to stop for a while and recover my body.
“And the other was to drastically change my attitude and my mentality.
“I was able to change and fight for every small improvement that I was able to make.”
Nadal’s 2019 has indeed been a very stop-start ordeal. He reached the Australian Open final in January, jusy three months after undergoing ankle surgery.
However, he was unable to play again until Indian Wells in March, where he was forced to pull out mid-tournament.
“After Indian Wells, as I said couple of times, mentally I was down,” he said.
“I lost a little bit of energy, because I had too many issues in a row.
“It is tough when you receive one and then another.
“Mentally I was not enjoying things. I was too worried about my health and, being honest, I was being too negative.
“After the first round in Barcelona, I was able to stay alone for a couple of hours in the room and think about what’s going on, what I need to do.
“And since that first match in Barcelona, I think things have been improving every single day.”
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