PARIS—Rafael Nadal says his record French Open title haul is one of his greatest accomplishments, but he's even more proud of something else he's achieved in his career.
“The thing that I am more proud about my career probably is the 2013 year," Nadal told reporters at the French Open. "2013 was amazing. Because I had too many problems on my knee, so I was not able to practice at all. And I finished the year being world No. 1, winning here [at the French Open], winning the U.S. Open. So that's the thing that I am more proud."
On Sunday, Nadal will face Stan Wawrinka in the French Open final, where he's 9-0 over his career.
"Nine here is probably difficult. I don't consider myself very special. But is obvious that you need to combine a lot of things, and a lot of things have to put together to have that record. And if it's 10, even more. You need to be lucky. I am not the right one to say, but play 10 finals here is something difficult.”
The 14-time Grand Slam champion hasn’t won a Grand Slam title since June 2014, when he won his ninth title at Roland Garros. He withdrew from the 2016 tournament with a wrist injury after winning two matches, then took a long off-season break to fully recover.
“In recent past [there] was no forehand because I have injury of my wrist. So was no chance to hit good forehands,” said the left-hander. “I recovered the forehand last year. It takes a lot of work and long time to recover.
"I had my treatment. Worked well, and that's why I was able to work for one month and a half very well, and it's no secret. It's only about being healthy and having the chance to work as much as I want and the things that we wanted to work, no? If that happens, then the chances to be very competitive, and the chances to be playing well, are much higher. Problem is during my career I didn't have a lot of periods of this one month and a half without problems physically to work as much as I can.”