13-time champion says the one who plays best will prevail
Rafael Nadal said “no one is invincible” in an interview on Thursday as he targets a 14th French Open title and record-setting 21st Grand Slam crown.
“No one is invincible, anywhere,” said Nadal whose career record at Roland Garros stands at 100 victories against just two losses since his title-winning Paris debut in 2005.
“This year I lost (early) in Monte Carlo and Madrid. I hope not to lose here at Roland Garros. What I can do is fight.”
Victory in the final in Paris on June 13 will take Nadal past the record of 20 Majors he currently shares with Roger Federer.
“Roland Garros is a very special place for me,” said Nadal. “Favourite or not, that is not the question. What matters is to play well, and the one who plays the best will be whoever has the most chances of winning the tournament.
“My goal is to be the one who plays the best.”
Despite his remarkable history in Paris, Nadal, who turns 35 on June 3, admits he remains stunned at his longevity in a sport where he has been present in the world top 10 since 2005.
When asked if he could have imagined still playing at 35, he said: “Ten years ago, no. But if you had asked me the question two years ago, maybe I would have answered yes.
“Ten years ago, I had so many physical problems that it was difficult for me to imagine that my career would last so long,” added the Spaniard whose career has been plagued by a series of knee injuries.
Nadal will start this year’s French Open as the overwhelming favourite once again, boosted by his recent win over World No.1 Novak Djokovic in the Rome Masters final.
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