Rafael Nadal is back at his favorite tournament of the year. Despite his recent struggles, Nadal still says he finds the confidence at Roland Garros where he’s won 9 times and sports a 70-2 record.
“It’s true that I had a lot of success here and it’s true that I like the tournament,” Nadal said Friday at the French Open. “It feel a little bit like home because I have a great relationship with all of them, and that makes the event even more special for me.
“It’s always a special feeling when you’re able to come back to such a beautiful and important place. But especially for me, because it’s the most important place in my career without a doubt. If I am playing well, I know I can do good things.”
The question is, can he play well enough to beat Novak Djokovic who he has lost to seven straight times (0-15 in sets)!
Nadal begins his quest for a 10th French Open Monday or Tuesday against big-serving Australian Sam Groth.
“Well, he has a huge serve,” Nadal said. “He’s uncomfortable first round. He’s a difficult one. You know, need to be ready for suffer a little bit during the match, because I know he gonna be difficult to have breaks.
“I hope to be ready to stay focused mentally and to compete well.”
Nadal also once again will celebrate his birthday during the event, his 30th to be exact on semifinal day.
“No, I’m not feeling old. Is true that I had a lot of years here on the tour [16 years, to be precise] but in terms of mentality and in terms of life I feel young. That’s it.
“You know, nobody can stop time. That’s not a good thing, but at the same time, I am happy with my life. I enjoyed all these years on the tour, and I hope to keep enjoying the next couple of years.”
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