But, Thiem won only 1 set (and lost 12 sets) in 4 matches played against Rafa at Roland Garros.duh. And I'm sure Djokovic would have preferred Thiem win RG instead of Nadal.
Actually in the Spanish original I don't see the specific motivation, certainly not the n.1 spot. He only says "to me personally a Thiem victory would've suited more", no reasons whatsoever mentioned. Of course they're obvious.I became too curious, so I checked out the original article using google translate. Here is the question that lead to the twitter message by Jose Morgado, and the answer from Rafa:
Journalist: As seen in Australia, the 'Next Gen' continues to challenge, but the 'Big 3' (the big three: the Swiss Roger Federer, the Serbian Novak Djokovic and him) resists. Do you identify with the idea of 'Big 3' or do you care, with tennis being an individual sport? Or would you have preferred a victory in Australia of (Austrian Dominik) Thiem, to keep the world number one?
Rafa: Obviously, yes (I would have preferred Thiem's victory). You don't have to be a hypocrite, right? It would have been better for me personally if Thiem won. But, to be honest, I slept exactly as well as the last two days. In that regard, it doesn't matter if Dominik had won or if Novak (Djokovic) won. It is part of our sport. This tournament is particularly good for Novak. And right now he is today, the best player in the world. This is what the numbers say. And the only thing that can be done is to congratulate him on another great success.
Thus we see that Rafa's reply was specifically motivated by the fight for the number one spot, but it is not hard to imagine that the slam race might be even more important.
Of course he would. But since it's an unpopular opinion he won't admit it openly. I also bet Djokovic and Federer would trade too."Nadal would trade his Olympics Gold for a grand slam in a heartbeat." - MTF tards.