Just as happy fishing or playing golf in Mallorca, Nadal is ruthless on the tennis court but disarmingly humble off it.
"Not that I did that previous year, but on grass margins are very slim and it's not so simple, especially when you haven't played for three months. I played a great match against a great player", said Nadal. "But in the end, it was not too hard".
Nadal extended his remarkable tally to 11 French Open crowns when he defeated Dominic Thiem in straight sets during Sunday's final in what marked the Spaniard's 17th Grand Slam victory - three behind Federer.
If Thiem is, as he is widely regarded, the second best clay-court player in the world, then he probably has a few more of these pummellings to look forward to at least until Nadal, 32, finally calls it a day.
"Winning 11 times is definitely one of the best things somebody ever achieved in sport".
After Nadal won the first, there was an air of inevitability.More news: Montreal expected to host World Cup games in 2026
His lead was reminiscent of their semifinal at the French Open a year ago, when Nadal also held the early advantage.
Thiem is the only man to beat Nadal on the clay in the past two seasons, but the top seed was not to be denied yesterday, as he improved his French Open win-loss record to a remarkable 86-2.
Nadal hails his 11th French Open title as "just incredible" despite a worrying injury scare in the closing stages of the final.
He saved another two in the 11-minute sixth game, a performance cheered by the crowd who briefly became more animated when glum-looking French football icon Zinedine Zidane was spotted in the stadium.
Ken Rosewall, who won the title in 1953 and 1968, presented Nadal with the trophy. He took the biggest of big cuts on groundstrokes, his feet leaving the ground as he threw his whole body into them, as if the very outcome - not of any individual point, but the whole shebang - depended on the strength of that one whip of his white racket.
Nadal had 12 unforced errors.
Thiem already suffered four double faults despite four aces at the start of the second set, while Nadal maintained all of his serves in the second set to move a step further at 6-3. A volley into the net.More news: Rebel Wilson damages slashed on appeal
After an early swap of service breaks in Paris, it was 4-all in the opening set.
By then, Nadal was finding his spots.
The Spaniard dominated his opponent by sharpening up his forehand and unleashing wicked winners before another break of serve meant the red carpet was ready to be rolled out at 5-2.
It was a cloudy and steamy afternoon, with the temperature at 77 degrees (24 Celsius) and the humidity approaching 70 percent. I am enjoying that moment. "I was not (in) control of my finger".
When the trainer visited Nadal in his quarterfinal for a similar issue, Nadal said it was simply to prevent sweat from traveling to his hand. Thiem broke back immediately as he continued to go for his shots, and he saw off a break point to hold for 2-2.
The trophy was carried into the Court Philippe Chatrier in a brown box during a brief ceremony before play begins and unveiled by the two stars of music and screen.More news: Two Norwegian lawmakers nominate Trump for Nobel Peace Prize