Rafa Roundup: I don’t want to win 15 Roland Garros, says Nadal

Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

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“I didn’t have enough luck,” he said. “In some moments, he played aggressive. He hit amazing shots in a lot of moments. He was on fire for a moment; lots of amazing shots. I congratulate him. I lost in the quarter-finals, but I had two weeks in a row playing well.” … “The only thing that I am sure of is I’m going to try,” said Nadal. “The goal in Paris will always be the same one. I feel I’m playing well. I am confident that if I am able to play without nerves – I didn’t play with nerves today, I didn’t play with nerves most of the time the last three weeks, and that’s the most important thing for me.”

On Monday, Nadal dropped out of the top five in the ATP rankings for the first time in 10 years — falling to No. 7. That will give him a tough draw in Paris, where play starts next weekend. “I am ready to accept the challenge,” Nadal said. “If I go to Roland Garros (and) I lose (and) I don’t play well, life continues. It’s not the end of the world. I won so many times there. I don’t want to (win) 15 Roland Garros. That’s for sure. It’s normal that I can lose. Losing is part of life.” But, he added: “I am sure that I can be competitive.”

This is the first year since year since 2004 that Nadal will go into the French Open without having won a Masters 1000 title. By the time he plays his first match at Roland Garros, nearly three months will have passed since he won his lone title of 2015. He has been so good on red clay for so long that the scenario seems almost unreal, and that will be about the only thing going for him as he embarks on his quest to win the French Open a preposterous 10th time. Maybe his rivals will be as nonplussed as his legion of fans. Only a fool would count him out.

“La bola estaba más tiempo en el cordaje de lo que estoy acostumbrado últimamente, viniendo de Madrid y jugando aquí todos los días con calor y sol. La bola estaba muy poquito tiempo en el cordaje, salía muy rápido”, dijo. “Me ha afectado jugar de noche”, apuntó tras añadir: “era el peor escenario jugar de noche contra él (Wawrinka), pero ha sido así desgraciadamente. Históricamente en este torneo no tengo mucha suerte con los horarios.” … “(En Roland Garros) puedo jugar mal, perder pronto, pero voy a luchar e intentar luchar para tener un buen torneo”, subrayó. Y matizó: “Cuando digo que puedo hacerlo no me refiero ganar, sino jugar bien. Y si juego bien, puedo ser competitivo y si puedo ser competitivo, todo puede pasar” concluyó.

Photo: Monique Filippella
Photo: Monique Filippella

Rafael Nadal may have admitted in recent weeks to a crisis of confidence, but as far as the Spaniard’s greatest rival is concerned he remains the man to beat at the French Open, which starts in eight days’ time. “Regardless of what anyone says to me he’s the favourite,” Roger Federer said here at the Rome Masters. “The guy’s only lost [at Roland Garros] once in 10 years. There’s no way past that guy being the absolute favourite for that tournament.”

PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal defeated by Stan Wawrinka in Rome

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20 comments

  1. 5sets is a plus point to Nadal.tie break at 6-2 loss should not disturb his confidence. Come on Rafa u r the champ of 2015 French open all the best

  2. i am a ardent lover of his game. I have watched recent on clay. Losing a game is for every one and in any game. One cannnot > It apples to any champions like rafe. we pray and wish him all Luck and invoke almighty blessings a lot for his FRENCH OPEN.
    .

  3. Ola dear Rafa, I always love reading your down to earth intelligent interviews….you are an amazing sportsman & one classy Tennis champion!!!! : )) It will be so much fun to see you play in Paris……wee …wee…. you are the most fun player to watch…. by far…. & best wishes on your next match!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) Have lots of fun in Paris!!!! : ) So happy for you!!!! : ) Please get extra, plenty sleep……& enjoy the yummy French Pastries AFTER the FO ……. Best of luck & have a great time!!!!! : )

  4. Your fans believe in you, and loosing those last games shows that you are a human being too, not only a winning machise, like many see in you; a human that has good and bad moments also.
    Keep competing and that brings you the victory too.
    Dont pay attention to bad comments, those who know your efforts will be always by your side.
    We love you and good luck in Paris!

  5. Rafa is a beast on the tennis court ! He fight for the last point and if he lose he definitely give it his all ! I still believe Rafa will surprise all of us his loyal fans with one slam this year ! He played amazing tennis although he lose to Stan it was magic tennis from Rafa, so many unexpected passing shots OMG unbelievable just happy to see him on court if Rafa is not playing i’m so lost without him ! Love from Toronto Rafa ! good luck and I’ll be cheering you on very loudly !

  6. Rafa is an atheist so he does not believe in GOD and I think that is very sad because GOD gave him all this talent and a legion of adoring fans like me

  7. Although Rafa is an international treasure and superstar, he is a human being first and foremost.

    I have to applaud him for staying true to himself and putting everything in perspective.
    Suffering a few losses this past season is not the end of the world especially considering the
    amazing career he has shared with all of his fans for over a decade now. Ebbs and flows,
    peaks and valleys, injuries are all a part of the life of an elite athlete’s career! And he manages it beautifully with the support of his wonderful team and family!

    Even if Rafa won 15 RG and missed out on # 16, the media’s conversation would remain the same, unfortunately: What’s up with Rafa? When is enough, enough? Even in defeat he is the most exciting and charismatic player to watch. He has nothing more to prove!

    I’m from America and I follow a lot of sports but Rafa, by far, has always been my
    absolute favorite to watch and follow no matter what the outcome. He happens to be so down to earth and relateable. For those reasons, I will always be team Rafa!

  8. Even if Rafaclose the French this year he will always be the king of clay that title can only be taken when somebody equals him or more (never going to happen) and as a sky sportsman said Rafa is the king of clay and Novak is the king of Tennis right now and I think that sums it up

  9. @Afolabi Oyedele – I agree with much of your post. And I too believe much is in God’s hands so I ask him to give Rafa strength of mind and body, now and always –while playing tennis and while off the court.

    I love you Rafa even though my heart is sad. God Bless you and be with you at Roland Garros because he needs your help. Love Marylynn

  10. Dear favorite best player Hero Nadal
    I believe that you need a professional
    Trainer to help you come back again to
    The road of winning as usual .
    Think about it..
    Wish you all the best ..

  11. 9 Trophies, 9 years gives you a lease on Roland Garros Rafa! Win or lose next week, you will always be the King of Clay. Nobody can take away the past, n Roger is right you should go favourite for two reasons at least. Firstly you are a fighter n give of your best, n secondly you are the reigning champ. I ask God to bless n be with you Rafa my adopted grandson. Vamos Rafael. Love your Aussie Nana. xxx

  12. Why should Rafa say he doesn’t want to win 15 Roland Garros? Rafa does not know more than God, so he should not underestimate God. It is God that gave him all the past 9 victories, and so if God has destined him to win 15 Roland Garros, who then is little Rafa to say no!
    The best that Rafa can say is that ”I will continue to play for victory at Roland Garros as long as possible.”

    Rafa should watch his comments so that God will not be angry with him.

    • Beautiful post and I agree with it@Afolabi but I think Rafa doesn’t believe in God, as far as I know he is agnostic…. Still I believe he is God’s beloved son:)

  13. creo personalmente que RAFAEL necesita tiempo para sus respuestas que nadie mejor que èl podrà darlas.todo jugador tiene sus altos y bajos a lo largo de su carrera.sabido es que no se puede ganar todo siempre y no en vano pasa el tiempo ,hasta el mismo ROGER tuvo sus malos tiempos y pudo recuperarse.nadie cuestionarà ni por casualidad lo que es RAFA o ROGER QUIENES NO TIENEN NADA QUE DEMOSTRAR PARA SER RECONOCIDOS COMO DOS DE LOS MEJORES DE TODOS LOS TIEMPOS ,CON RÈCORDS OBTENIDOS QUE PASARÀN MUCHOS AÑOS EN SER ABATIDOS .de manera que dèmosle tiempo a RAFA para recuperarse y lo veremos con su confianza habitual y su mejor juego ….vamosssssssssssss que se puede …!!!!!!!!

  14. I also think Rafa is the favorite to win RG. He was playing much better in Roma than in Madrid and even that he surprised me losing against Wawrinka I’m sure he is going to be ready to fight against anyone in Paris. VAMOS!!!!!

  15. Realistic views as ever but I have confidence that Rafael will find his best form in the City of Light. This is where he has written a chapter of tennis history that will never be equalled . Rafael , Champion player and gentleman.

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