Fishing on hold as Nadal has no plans to retire
RAFAEL Nadal didn't even expect to be at Roland Garros this year, much less lifting a 10th Musketeers' Cup.
Overjoyed, the Spaniard betrayed a long-held secret when asked to reflect on his first French Open crown 12 years ago.
"In 2005, I thought in 2017 I'd be fishing on my boat in Mallorca," he laughed.
"I didn't really think I'd have such a long career and win so many tournaments.
"Back then, of course, I couldn't even think a second that this would ever happen to me."
The first man in history to win 10 majors - La Decima in Spanish - at the same grand slam, Nadal is refusing to set a limit on what he might eventually achieve.
Former world No 1 and triple winner Gustavo Kuerten believes there are another five victories in Nadal.
Unstintingly humble, Nadal is not so sure.
"Right now, I don't really know. I'm just going to keep on playing as long as it makes me happy," he said.
"If one day I get up in the morning and I'm no longer motivated to go train, well, I guess that day I will put an end to my career.
"Right now I'm very motivated. I'm happy to train. I have been doing this for years, and I'm still excited to do it. Again, provided my body allows me to do it."
Ever modest, Nadal declared he'd played the "perfect Roland Garros", having not conceded a set.
"I didn't lose a set during the whole event, and even no one set arrived to 5-all," he said.
"Today was a very important day for me. Have been some tough moments last times, injuries, so it's great to have big success like this again.
"These two weeks have been great level of tennis, is true.
"I feel I was playing well since beginning of the season, but it's true that in my career I have had a lot of good years.
"This year has been very special since the beginning. I am playing very well. I don't like to compare.
"The only thing that I know is I am playing well now. I am happy. I am enjoying every week, and I want to continue and I gonna try to keep working hard to try to enjoy more beautiful weeks."
Restored to world No 2 - his highest mark since October, 2014 - Nadal said he would strive to return to No 1.
But he still has doubts.
"Right now, I gonna have doubts even in a few days, because in tennis every week is a new story and that's part of the beautiful thing of our sport. Life is not that clear," he said.
"So if you have no doubts probably is because you are too arrogant.
"I don't consider myself arrogant at all. So I think the doubts...let me work so hard all my career. And for that reason, I am having the success that I had."
Nadal was feted post-match with a video documenting his 10 victories in Paris.
His coach and uncle Toni Nadal was given a replica trophy amid conjecture he was ready to bow out completely, leaving Carlos Moya to call the shots.