“No secret at all,” Nadal grinned, when pressed on his sustained ability to return to the top spot.
“I can’t say I have been lucky with injuries, because I have not. But, well, there is no secret, no? There is only about passion, about love for the game, and about being able to stay positive in the tough moments.
“It is true that I went through some tough situations during all my career. But I was able to always, with probably the positive attitude and with the right people around … I was able to find a way to keep going.
“Something that’s difficult to imagine for me because [of] my style of game, as a lot of people said, my career should be little bit shorter. But here we are.”
Nadal opens his 15th Australian Open campaign against 26-year-old Bolivian Hugo Dellien on Tuesday.
Five times he has featured in the men’s final at Melbourne Park, a champion on one of those occasions 11 years ago.
A potential fourth-round blockbuster against Australian Nick Kyrgios could eventuate, should Kyrgios win through 16th seed Karen Khachanov’s section of the draw.