Rafael Nadal: “I don’t care if I’m the favourite”

(AFP) – Rafael Nadal said on Friday that he “doesn’t care” if he is the red-hot favourite to lift a record-extending 12th French Open title at Roland Garros, insisting that there are a host of players in contention for the trophy.

The world number two holds an incredible French Open win-loss record of 86-2, and hit top form by winning his ninth Italian Open last week with a final victory over old rival Novak Djokovic.

Nadal could move to within two titles of Roger Federer’s all-time men’s record of 20 Grand Slam trophies if he lifts the Coupe des Mousquetaires on June 9.

“I don’t care if I’m the favourite,” he said. “I care about feeling well and playing well.

“I appreciate that you (the media) see me like that, but (Dominic) Thiem, Novak (Djokovic), Federer, Tsitsipas who has been playing well, (Juan Martin) del Potro, (Kei) Nishikori — all those that are the best in the world will be favourites.

“The only thing that worries me is being well and being competitive.

“The only favourite that matters is the one who has the cup at home in two weeks’ time.”

Before his triumph in Rome, it had been far from a trademark clay-court season for Nadal.

The Spaniard failed in his bids for 12th titles in both Monte Carlo and Barcelona, where he lost in the semi-finals to Fabio Fognini and Thiem respectively.

Another last-four exit followed on home soil in Madrid against Greek rising star Tsitsipas.

Nadal admits it took him time to rediscover his top form after a one-month absence with the right knee injury which forced him to withdraw from Indian Wells before a scheduled semi-final against Federer.

“When you’re recovering from an injury it’s also difficult to recover mentally,” he said. “I had not had that for a long time.

“Losing in the semi-finals is considered bad… Without playing especially well at the start of the clay season.

“You have to have the humility to value small improvements. For me, one very positive thing was that before I started Rome, it was not a disaster — I’d made three semi-finals.

“It’s not incredible, but it’s not a total disaster either.”

– Warm-up on the fairways –

Nadal, who faces a qualifier in the first round but could meet Federer or Tsitsipas in a potential semi-final clash, was pleased to get away from the court after his Rome success.

“I have been at home, one day of golf, one day of family, and came back here.

“(I’ve) already had two practices here. Good practices. (I’m) just trying to continue the preparation and just hold the level.”

But Nadal will not be over-confident in the first week, pointing to his famous shock early Wimbledon defeats by Steve Darcis and Dustin Brown.

“The problem with Dustin Brown is that if I play badly, I lose to anyone,” he said. “In 2015, I was playing badly, it was normal to lose to a dangerous player on grass.

“I also lost to Darcis in 2013. It’s part of the sport. When one plays badly he usually loses.”

But Nadal has only lost to two men at Roland Garros since his triumphant debut in 2005 — against the now-retired Robin Soderling and this year’s top seed Djokovic, who he could face in the final as the Serbian chases a fourth consecutive Grand Slam crown.

Source: AFP

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26 comments

  1. OLA OLA OLA OLA OLA OLA OLA & VAMOS SWEETHEART !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:) 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 VERY HAPPY FOR YOU SWEETHEART AND FOR YOUR BEAUTIFUL GENIUS DOWN TO EARTH FEISTY ATTITUDE!!!!!!!!!!!!:) ENJOY EACH ONE OF YOUR MANY BEAUTIFUL TENNIS GIFTS…….YOUR POWERFUL SPEED……YOUR BRILLIANT FITNESS…….YOUR PRECIOUS EFFECTIVE SERVE……..YOUR MAGIC COURT COMMAND………YOUR CUTE FACE…….WITH SMILING DIMPLES:)……..YOUR UNBELIEVABLE SHARP EYES ………ALWAYS NOTICING EXACTLY WHERE THE BALL LANDS…..WITHIN MILLIMETERS :)……..I ALWAYS LOVE WHEN YOU CHALLENGE CALLS AND GET IT RIGHT 97% …….AND EVEN WHEN YOU MISS I AM HAPPY YOU CHALLENGED……….YOUR MAGIC NET REACH……….YOUR STUNNING GORGEOUS VOLLEYS………..YOUR BEAUTIFUL STRONG GORGEOUS FEISTY SIDE TO SIDE RETURNS……….YOUR RAFA NADAL GENIUS DOWN THE LINE BANANA SHOTS…… YOUR BLESSED FOCUS……….YOUR BLESSED EXTRA SPECIAL EXCELLENT ENDURANCE AND UNMATCHED FIGHTING FOR EACH BALL…….AND DOING IT ALL SWEETHEART WITH YOUR PRECIOUS PASSION AND DRIVE AND CLASSY STUNNING STYLE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:) WE LOVE YOU SWEETHEART AND VERY HAPPY FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:) ENJOY EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:) CI………CI……….CI…………AND WI…………WI………WI………
    WE WILL ENJOY EVERYTHING AND EACH POINT YOU PLAY WITH YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:) MAKES ZERO DIFFERENCE WHO THE OPPONENT IS……OR ANYTHING ELSE…….YOU HAVE THE GOODS SWEETHEART………ENJOY LOTS OF FUN SWEETHEART PLAYING AND ENJOYING ALL THESE BEAUTIFUL TENNIS GIFTS AND YOUR SHINNING HARD WORK AND BRIGHTEST EFFORTS THAT’S IT!!!!!!!:) GO RAFA GO AND VAMOS SWEETHEART SENIOR CHAMP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:) WE LOVE YOU AND SENDING LOTS OF LOVE AND HAPPINESS AND VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)
    HAVE A BEAUTIFUL NIGHT AND A BEAUTIFUL WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:) XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO KEEP SMILING!:)

    Like

  2. I was overjoyed to see Rafa a day before he started his first match at the hotel lobby during the Barcelona Open.😃 It was unbelievable and a dream came true! I finally had a chance to take a photo with my idol who I have admired since 2008. I watch tennis because of Rafa and Barcelona Open 2019 was the 7th tournament I supported Rafa in person.

    It broke my heart when I saw him lose to Dominic in the semifinals in straight sets. He also lost to Stefanos a week later. I started to worry about Rafa because he has suffered too many injuries during his career. However, he finally got his first title in 2019 at the Rome Open beating Djokovic.👏 I was so happy for Rafa, not just because he won the trophy but it is so important to know he is healthy and competitive!

    Rafa is right, being the favorite or not doesn’t matter, feeling well and playing well matter👍

    I hope Rafa stays injury free, plays more competitive matches for his fans and wins more big titles before he retires🤞All the best always on and off court RAFA!❤️

    Like

  3. Does anyone know how the schedule of play is done? Curious how it’s decided who plays whom in the first rounds. Is it all by chance, based on rankings, etc.? Rafa has had seemingly great draws in the last couple of events this year. I’m happy to see more of him this way, and all the way to the trophy, Rafa! So happy for you and your recovery and return to top form! I pray for you to stay healthy throughout the season! Vamos y todo buena suerte!

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    • The RG draw is up on Youtube if you want to see it done. Non-seeded players are drawn randomly for spots. Seeds are grouped by level and then drawn to see where they fall. Of course the top seed gets the top spot of the draw. #2 gets the bottom spot. Nos. 3 and 4 each get a quarter of the draw, allotted randomlly, so Federer as 3 seed got placed into the 3rd quarter while the 4 seed Thiem went into the 2nd quarter.

      Like

  4. Yes you care Rafa you can do it.vamosssssssssss. Champ all the way before you get married we love you your fans for ever. Congratulations 💪💪💪🎾🎾😘😘❤️❤️❤️🏆🏆🏆👍👍👍😘❤️

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  5. It’s still Friday so it’s a little early for a finalized schedule of play. The FO schedule of play which has yet to be confirm is as follows:

    Sunday:

    Rafa vs Y. Hanfmann
    Roger
    Tsitsipas
    Nishikori
    Wawrinka

    Monday:

    Djokovic
    Thiem
    A. Zverev
    del Potro

    [SOURCE: FO TBD Schedule]

    Kevin Anderson[9] has skipped the clay season due to an elbow injury.

    Like

    • Rafa is not playing on Sunday. Can you please post if you have any info on when he’s playing? By the way I have Monday tickets.

      Like

      • The most reliable and up to date information is on the site of the tournament. As of now Rafa plays on Monday, hour tbd.

        Like

      • Dan, I just checked with the schedule and Rafa has been moved to Monday. Still too early to know what time his match will be or the court.

        If you Google Nadal [just Nadal, nothing else] his name will appear with his opponent’s. As you will see, there is no court or time indicated on the tournament’s WEB site schedule.

        Also, RNF usually posts his match schedule.

        You can also double check with SCOREBOARD and with FLASHCORE.

        Have lots of fun watching Rafa. Wish I were there.

        RAFAMAZING ROCKS

        Like

      • I read it yesterday on ATP… Listed as Rafael Nadal / Yannick Hanfmann . – 5/27 – Time TBD

        Have a wonderful time!!

        Like

  6. The Laver Cup is now “an official part of the annual ATP Tour calendar.” The agreement gives the event, now approaching its third competition in Geneva, Switzerland this September, access to ATP services including marketing and social media along with operational personnel such as officials and physios.”
    [SOURCE: ATP News Release, May 24, 2019]

    That was fast after only two competitions. Good luck to all who play.

    Like

    • Rafa is to play at this year’s Laver Cup to be held September 20-22 in Geneva, Switzerland.
      [SOURCE: Forbes, May 24, 2019]

      RAFAMAZING ROCKS

      Like

  7. Rafael knows his job. He is a professional who recognizes the business and hype that accompanies
    each tournament. He is keeping his focus. All the best🍀in it to win it🏆👓😍

    Like

  8. I don’t know why there’s all this fuss about who’s the favourite – he’s quite right! The media were going on about Roger being “snubbed” over the French Open, because the bookies’ only made him 4th favourite – as if he’d care! It doesn’t matter who’s the favourite, only what happens out there!

    Like

  9. BEAUTIFUL PHOTOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO

    Like

  10. YOU CARE ABOUT IMPORTANT THINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) LIKE YOUR THINKING SWEETHEART…………YOUR PRECIOUS POINT BY POINT FUN PLAY AND NOTHING ELSE MATTERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) GO RAFA GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)

    Like

  11. “The only favorite who matters is the one who has the cup at home in two weeks’ time.” Rafa is just sooo cool with that response. Love it.

    And I hope it’s you Rafa.

    RAFAMAZING ROCKS

    Like

    • Uh, we’d see how it goes, Margo.

      Both Rafa and Djoker are in top form, so it all comes down to who is motivated the most. Djokovic has always been talking about the ultimate challenge which is beating Nadal at French Open final which no one has ever done till date.Djoker is also aiming at being the G.O.A.T when he holds all the 4 Grand Slams trophies for a record 2nd year!

      Is his motivation high enough to achieve this? Then again, can Nadal stop him and by so doing claim an 18th GS, thus narrowing the gap with Federer?

      Novak Djokovic kicks off his campaign with Poland’s ”dark horse’ Hubert Hukartz who could potentially cause an upset.

      Nadal, on the other hand, startsv his campaign with qualifiers, unknown elements that could also be difficult. But i do not foresee any upset here.

      Let’s not forget that the Djoker is still smarting, hurting from the 6-0 bagel Nadal inflicted on him in Rome and desires to balance the equation.

      Let’s also not forget that NadAL has said before that he does not want a 12th RG…………so what’s is my prediction?

      Novak Djokovic is it! (if he gets to the final)

      But as always, we’d see………………..cheers

      Rafa rocks

      Like

    • Yes, the vidéoclip is super of Rafa placing the trophy in the Aca in Manacor behind glass. 😃 When I saw the others last year in there 👑 I hoped for it. Fiona in Paris

      Like

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