On the heels of Serena Williams appearing on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Rafael Nadal has done an interview with Christiane Amanpour for CNN.

Nadal is one of the players in quarantine in Adelaide, and the elite group has been very quiet for the past two weeks, posting sparingly on social media and doing few interviews. Only Novak Djokovic has been regularly sighted on his balcony and he did a local radio interview.

Amanpour is one of the few journalists to get a few minutes of Nadal's time this month. As expected, he had a very optimistic attitude about the situation and is eager to compete.


"The world is suffering in general, no? So we can't complain," Nadal said. "We can only say thanks to Tennis Australia, to the Australian community, to welcome us and to accept us to come because I know they have been under very strict measures for a lot of months. So, for us, it's good that we can at least keep playing tennis."

While he felt sorry for the 72 players in strict quarantine, he said players knew there was strict protocols and that the country wouldn't bend their rules just for the athletes. The 34-year-old stressed the big picture even though complaining is normal.

As Nadal heads into the ATP Cup and the Australian Open, Amanpour asked the 20-time Grand Slam champion if he's happy and content with his career achievements. He gave her a resounding "yes", explaining that records are not the key to his happiness.

She also asked him, straight up, what is the deal behind all his quirky habits on court?


"That's all about in some way it's stupid," he said. "I am not doing [one] of these [habits] when I am practicing or in my normal life... It's in some way a way to make a difference between practices and matches. When I am doing all these routines, I feel 100 percent focused on what I am doing. It's an extra focus."

He'll start his 2021 with exhibition action in Adelaide, opening against Dominic Thiem on Friday night. As for what his motivation is right now, his answer was simple:

"Australian Open."