Nadal News 2.0

Raphael Nadal

Professional
Since 2016, it has been possible to practice on the grass courts in Mallorca. There were no grass courts in Mallorca before 2016. The Santa Ponsa tennis club (80 km/50 miles away from Manacor, Rafa's hometown) opened their new grass courts in spring 2016 and hosted Spain’s first grass court tournament, the WTA Mallorca Open, in June. Rafa was supposed to practice on the new grass courts in 2016, but due to his wrist injury he only visited the venue. He practiced there in 2017 & 2018. The WTA tournament officials expect Rafa to practice at the Santa Ponsa tennis club also this year [Source: the tournament FB]. Toni Nadal has been the tournament director of the WTA Mallorca Open since 2016.
Yeah I know, practice is a lot more effective than playing Halle or Queens, because the transition to grass is a step-by-step process and should not be rushed, especially in Rafa's case because of the physical risks.
And he can control the amount of rest he has and the pacing and spacing of his training.
Playing Halle or Queens was nothing but trouble, plus an early loss at those events can hurt Rafa's confidence, especially if its a beatdown by Dustin Brown :)
But of course the money was a lure, plus he won Queens (beating Bjorkman, Nishikori, Karlovic, Roddick and Djokovic) and Wimbledon 2008, so I can understand why his team considered it a good idea at first.
 

Imperator

Professional
On a more serious note, incredible achievement. Can anyone believe that Rafa has MORE RG slams than the TOTAL # of slams by great players such as Borg, Laver and Emerson.
Only Pete, Novak and Roger have more total slams than Rafa has at RG alone. How crazy is that?
Not Emerson, he won 12 GS titles.
 

clayqueen

G.O.A.T.
Thiem:
“If you ask all the men in professional tennis, I mean, almost everyone will tell you that he’s one of the best volleyers of our game,” Thiem said. “Most of the time he’s so successful because he prepares the point well, and then he has an easy volley. But still, he puts them away.”

“The last time he missed a volley was maybe seven years ago,” Thiem added with a smile.

“Was so important to not lose court [position] against him,” Nadal said. “Because if not from few meters back, so difficult because he’s very powerful with his forehand.”


http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2019/06/rafael-nadal-french-open-12th-title-dominic-thiem-2019-final/82482/
 

TennisFan3

Legend
Steve Tignor on Rafa:

http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2019/06/rafael-nadal-ashleigh-barty-2019-french-open-review-roland-garros/82489/

Rafael Nadal’s dirty dozen. Nadal’s 12th title at Roland Garros was as convincing as any other. He served as well as he ever had, and volleyed even better. But it’s his competitive instincts that still set him apart. Against Thiem, he had a sixth sense for what to do at any given moment. When Thiem pushed him around the baseline at the start, Nadal responded by coming forward. When Thiem won the second set, Nadal responded by raising his game, with a flurry of winners, to a place where Thiem couldn’t follow. And on Thiem’s final two break points early in the fourth set—essentially his last stand—Rafa saved them by serving wide on the first one, and then, just when Thiem was expecting him to do it again, switching it up and going down the T on the second one.

There are a lot of things we can learn from Rafa—how to enjoy the struggle, how to avoid beating yourself, how to use the bad times to inspire the good. But there are some things you can’t teach. How to win 12 titles at Roland Garros is one of them.

AT 33, WITH 18 SLAMS, RAFAEL NADAL IS A MORE COMPLETE PLAYER THAN EVER

http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2019/06/rafael-nadal-french-open-12th-title-dominic-thiem-2019-final/82482/

Rafael Nadal ended his 15th French Open in roughly the same position where he ended his first French Open, in 2005: lying flat on his back, just behind the baseline on the TV-camera side of Court Philippe Chatrier, with a smile of triumph and relief across his face.

Back in ’05, sporting a sleeveless green shirt and a lot of hair, the 19-year-old Nadal was celebrating his first Roland Garros title, which came with a four-set win over Mariano Puerta in the final. Two days earlier, Rafa had eliminated the top seed, Roger Federer, in four sets.

In 2019, sporting a yellow shirt with sleeves, and significantly less hair, the 33-year-old Nadal was celebrating his 12th Roland Garros title, which came with a four-set win over Dominic Thiem. Two days earlier, Rafa had eliminated Federer, this time in straight sets.

As they say, death, taxes, and Rafa at Roland Garros. He’s now 93-2 in Paris, and he has won more titles there than any other player, man or woman, has won at a single Grand Slam event.

Another Grand Slam champion, John McEnroe, has been there to interview Nadal after all 12 titles for NBC. This year, Johnny Mac began with the obvious question: “How?”

Nadal gave him the obvious answer: “I don’t know.”

McEnroe went on to ask if Rafa had any advice for the young athletes who were watching back in the States. This time he elicited a more useful response.

“Go every day with the goal to improve something,” Nadal said. “Enjoy the work of every day.”

Rafa’s answer explained a lot about his 15-year, Groundhog Day-like journey from 2005 to 2019 in Paris.

Thirty-three-year-old athletes are not supposed to be better—physically, mentally, or any other way—than they were at 19. Experience tells us that they lose a step in their legs, and they let doubts seep into their minds more easily. In the past, this has proven to be doubly true for tennis players; in a sport that rewards fast-twitch muscles and fearless attitudes, teenage champs have been more common than 33-year-old ones.

All of that has changed in the era of the Big 3, of course. When Federer, who won the 2017 Australian Open at age 36, was asked whether he thought he was better in his 30s than he had been in his 20s, he said, essentially: I hope so, because otherwise I don’t know what all the time on the practice court was for.

Yet few of us, I think, believe that athletes improve as they age. Recently, TENNIS.com ran a poll that asked readers who would win at Roland Garros, the young Rafa or the old Rafa. Young Rafa won in a landslide. You know what they say, “Father Time is undefeated.”

Father Time will defeat Nadal eventually, but he’s going to have to make a serious comeback to do it. In virtually every aspect of the sport, the Rafa of today is better than the Rafa of 2005. As he said, he has “gone every day with the goal to improve something,” and that mindset has paid off.

Start with his serve. Nadal has joked in the past that when he first joined the tour, he had the worst serve in the game. That’s an exaggeration, of course, but his serve now bares little resemblance to the one he spun into the middle of the box as a teenager. During this past off-season, Nadal developed a new motion, one which helped take him to the Australian Open final. It was just as helpful in Paris. Against Thiem, he made 73 percent of his first serves and won 73 percent of his first-serve points. When Thiem earned two break points early in the fourth set, Nadal saved the first with a slice serve wide, and the second with a flat serve down the T that surprised Thiem.

Next we go to Rafa’s volley, which was nearly as important as his serve. Again, this is not a shot Nadal was famous for in his youth, but his ability to end points with it was a big part of what separated him from Thiem. Rafa was 23 of 27 at net, compared to Thiem’s 12 of 15. Nadal charged forward at every opportunity, anticipated well up there, and came up with a couple of drop volleys that Thiem could only applaud. Thiem kept applauding in the interview room.

“If you ask all the men in professional tennis, I mean, almost everyone will tell you that he’s one of the best volleyers of our game,” Thiem said. “Most of the time he’s so successful because he prepares the point well, and then he has an easy volley. But still, he puts them away.”

“The last time he missed a volley was maybe seven years ago,” Thiem added with a smile.

“Was so important to not lose court [position] against him,” Nadal said. “Because if not from few meters back, so difficult because he’s very powerful with his forehand.”

Finally, we come to Nadal’s backhand. When he was younger, Nadal did little more than keep the rally going with that shot, and it could be vulnerable to a relentless attack. This year, first against Federer and then against Thiem, Nadal’s backhand was every bit as lethal and impenetrable as his forehand. In 2015 and 2016, when his forehand was misfiring, Nadal needed to shore up his backhand, and he did.

If Nadal isn’t as fast as he was in 2005, it doesn’t seem to make any difference; he tracked down virtually every Thiem drop shot on Sunday. If anything, he knows how to use his energy more efficiently now than he did at 19—he still fist-pumps, but he doesn’t throw in the scissor-kick leaps as often as he once did. And when doubts creep into his head, the way they did at the end of the second set, he’s quick to banish them by going back on the attack, the way he did in the third set. Yes, experience has taught Nadal that things can go wrong, but it has also taught him that the best way to make them go right again is to take matters into your own hands.

In practice, Nadal is known for bludgeoning every forehand that comes his way. But if you stick around long enough, you’ll also see him engage in animated discussions with his coaches about the smallest of technical details. Add that up over 15 years and, as Federer says, it would be a shock if it didn’t make him a better tennis player.

Of course, the wear and tear has taken its toll on Nadal. Today he talked about how down he was after hurting his knee in Indian Wells and playing so poorly in Monte Carlo. At the next event, in Barcelona, he said he had to decide between taking time off, or trying to “change the dynamic” and get a little bit better each day. Was there ever any doubt about which course he would choose?

“Thinking a lot, finally I think I was able to change and was able to fight back for every small improvement that I was able to make happen,” he said. “Since that first match against [Leonardo] Mayer in Barcelona, I think the things have been improving every single day.”

“Of course, have this [French Open] trophy with me means a lot. But personally, the personal satisfaction of change the dynamic is the thing that I am more satisfied.”

Whether it’s technical, physical, or mental, Nadal sees every problem as a solution waiting to happen. That’s how you end up better at 33 than you were at 19. That’s how you give Father Time a run for his money. That’s how win 12 titles at Roland Garros
 

Sephiroth

Professional
Looks like Nadal winning #18 has done a number on a certain fanbase in this section. I got accused for being a party pooper on a "federer only" thread but it's fine when Nadal threads get trashed with crap left, right and centre.
 

vernonbc

Legend
Looks like Nadal winning #18 has done a number on a certain fanbase in this section. I got accused for being a party pooper on a "federer only" thread but it's fine when Nadal threads get trashed with crap left, right and centre.
You're pretty much of a newbee to the forum but may I give you some advice? Please please stay out of the Federer News thread (and the Djokovic News thread). Leave them to their own delusions. Right now, when we get some trolls in our thread, the mods are good about removing them but that will change if there are Nadal fans causing trouble in the other threads. So to keep our little haven quiet and related only to Nadal News, please take what I said to heart.

And just some general advice, keep it cool in the general and the pro threads. If you get into a scrap with another poster, particularly a Fed fan, you'll be banned in a flash. That's just the way this forum goes. Fed rules here and Fed fans complain to the mods a lot. Not much different for Djokovic. But as a Nadal fan you don't have much leeway although it's gotten better but I noticed you in the live match threads and I worried whether you'd make it through the weekend. You're not going to win the arguments and you're not going to have the last word, so just let it go so that we don't lose another Rafa fan. ;)
 

octobrina10

G.O.A.T.
The French Open

June 9, 2019
Party time in Paris

Maria Francisca (aka Xisca), Rafa's sister, his mother & dad (in the second picture) are on the way to the party to celebrate Rafa's 12th Roland Garros title:


Via Hola!

:)
 
I want an ESPN 30 for 30 on this. They have one for the Buffalo Bills reaching the super bowl 4 times. This could be a great doc. Only thing is you have to wait till he retires.
 
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Sephiroth

Professional
You're pretty much of a newbee to the forum but may I give you some advice? Please please stay out of the Federer News thread (and the Djokovic News thread). Leave them to their own delusions. Right now, when we get some trolls in our thread, the mods are good about removing them but that will change if there are Nadal fans causing trouble in the other threads. So to keep our little haven quiet and related only to Nadal News, please take what I said to heart.

And just some general advice, keep it cool in the general and the pro threads. If you get into a scrap with another poster, particularly a Fed fan, you'll be banned in a flash. That's just the way this forum goes. Fed rules here and Fed fans complain to the mods a lot. Not much different for Djokovic. But as a Nadal fan you don't have much leeway although it's gotten better but I noticed you in the live match threads and I worried whether you'd make it through the weekend. You're not going to win the arguments and you're not going to have the last word, so just let it go so that we don't lose another Rafa fan. ;)
Yeah but it wasn't even a Federer News thread, it was a thread for "Federer fans" only to come in and all you saw was Nadal getting ripped. How is that ok? But I agree, Federer fans rule this forum and have it all their own way but still we can't just bend over for the mob.
 

miko

Rookie
Yeah feels wrong to buy the milestone t-shirt, because it'll be obsolete next year :)
Yeah, I used to think like this, too. Not anymore :)

I just don't get Nike here (unless the commemorative t-shirt sales are really that bad). They came up with a commemorative t-shirt for the 3rd US Open / 16 slams which didn't make much sense as neither accomplishment was really special. And with the 12th French Open, you couldn't ask for a better "excuse" to cash in. Disappointing.
 

octobrina10

G.O.A.T.
Rafa Nadal Academy in Manacor
Rafa Nadal Sports Centre in Manacor

The academy is part of the sports centre

June 11, 2019

The American International School of Mallorca (AISM), which is situated within the Rafa Nadal Academy and allows young athletes to combine tennis and studies, held its 2019 graduation ceremony today. Rafa and special guest David Ferrer handed over diplomas to 29 graduates at the ceremony that took place on the central court of the Rafa's sports centre/academy.

Rafa speaks:





Rafa was accompanied by his family members, as usual. :)

Rafa's sister and girlfriend Maria Francisca (aka Xisca):

Via RNKOTFB

(y) to Rafa!
 
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TennisFan3

Legend
KING OF CLAY: 18 STATS FOR RAFAEL NADAL'S 18TH GRAND SLAM

http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2019/06/king-clay-18-stats-rafael-nadals-18th-grand-slam/82510/

Here are 18 different things the King of Clay achieved in Paris:

He won a historic 12th French Open title. Nadal has lifted the Coupe des Mousquetaires a dozen times now in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

He is the first player in tennis history, male or female, to win the same major 12 times. Only one other player has even hit double digits: Margaret Court won 11 Australian Opens.

He is only the second player in the Open Era, male or female, to win any tour-level event 12 times. Navratilova conquered the WTA event in Chicago 12 times between 1978 and 1992.

He closed in on Roger Federer and widened the gap with Novak Djokovic for most career Slams. Nadal is still in second place on the men’s all-time list, but his 18 is now just two behind Federer’s 20 and three ahead of Djokovic’s 15—Pete Sampras is fourth place with 14.

He is within two majors of Federer for the first time in 15 years. The last time Nadal was within two of Federer was when the Swiss only had two majors and Nadal zero—the period between the Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2004. Since then, the closest he had been was three behind.

He improved to 18-8 in Grand Slam finals. By reaching his 26th in Paris, he also closed the gap on Federer for most reached by a man in tennis history—Federer’s reached 30.

He is now 24-0 in the last two rounds at the French Open. With his 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 semifinal win over Federer and a 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 win over Dominic Thiem in the final, he is now 12-0 in both rounds.

He got his 950th career tour-level match win. Nadal’s win over Thiem gave him that milestone. The Spaniard is still in fourth place on the men’s all-time list, after Federer, who has 1,207; Jimmy Connors, who had 1,156; and Ivan Lendl, who recorded 1,069.

He got his 260th career Grand Slam match win. He is still in third place on the men’s all-time list, after Federer, who has 347; and Djokovic, who has 270.

He is now 93-2 in his career at Roland Garros. Nadal has more wins at the clay-court major than anyone in the tournament’s history—next-most is Steffi Graf with 84. The Spaniard’s only two losses came against Robin Soderling in the fourth round in 2009 and Djokovic in the quarterfinals in 2015.

He is now 118-2 in best-of-five-set matches on clay. He is 318-37 in best-of-three-set matches on clay, an excellent .896 winning percentage; but in best of five on the dirt, he’s 118-2—or .983.

He is now tied for most tour-level matches won this year, man or woman. Nadal improved to 32-5 on the year with his win over Thiem in the final, tying Stefanos Tsitsipas for most tour-level match wins this year—the Greek left Roland Garros 32-12 on the year. No woman has reached 32 yet.

He won Roland Garros with just one title on the year for the first time. In his 11 previous title runs at Roland Garros, Nadal didn’t just come in with multiple titles on the year, but multiple clay-court titles; in 2013 he even came to Paris with six titles on the year, five of which had come on clay.

This year he had just one title on the year, Rome, but was still able to dominate at Roland Garros.

He won his 59th career clay-court title. No other man in the Open Era has even gotten to 50 career clay court titles—the next-most on the list is Guillermo Vilas, who won 49.

He snapped a five-match losing streak against Federer in the semifinals. His win over the Swiss was his first in more than five years—their last five meetings had all come on hard courts, though.

He also became the first player to beat Federer 10 times at majors. Nadal is now 10-3 against Federer at majors. Djokovic has the next-most wins with nine; no one else has more than two.

He overtook Djokovic for No. 1 in the ATP Race to London. This is the third straight year Nadal has left Roland Garros at the top of the race. Djokovic is currently in second place with Federer third.

He extended the Big 3’s winning streak at Grand Slams to 10. Nadal, Federer and Djokovic have won every major since the start of 2017. It’s the trio’s third-longest streak after 18 in a row from 2005 Roland Garros to 2009 Wimbledon, and 11 from the 2010 Australian Open to 2012 Wimbledon.
 

Raphael Nadal

Professional
Rafa Nadal Academy in Manacor
Rafa Nadal Sports Centre in Manacor

The academy is part of the sports centre

June 11, 2019

The American International School of Mallorca (AISM), which is situated within the Rafa Nadal Academy and allows young athletes to combine tennis and studies, held its 2019 graduation ceremony today. Rafa and special guest David Ferrer handed over diplomas to 29 graduates at the ceremony that took place on the central court of the Rafa's sports centre/academy.

Rafa speaks:




Rafa was accompanied by his family members, as usual. :)

(y) to Rafa!
At 1:37 Rafa pats that student on the back exactly the same as when he pats his opponent on the back after a match :)
 

vernonbc

Legend
A good interview with Rafa. :)
https://www.atptour.com/en/news/nadal-reflects-12th-roland-garros-title-2019

Nadal: 'The Path Doesn't End Here. There's Still Work To Be Done'

© Peter Staples/ATP Tour

Lifting a crown never becomes routine, not even if the player lifting the crown is Rafael Nadal and when it’s for the 12th time. Such is the situation in which the Spaniard finds himself after defeating Dominic Thiem 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 to win his 12th Roland Garros title and improve to 93-2 at the season's second Grand Slam.
Nadal, now dressed in a white shirt and gray shorts just a few hours after lying on the clay of Court Philippe Chatrier in celebration, is ready to discuss how he got to this point, a point that just a few weeks ago was almost unthinkable. And that is precisely the starting point of this conversation.

Did you see yourself in this position a month and a half ago?
I did not.

How come?
If I made it to this point, it was because I believed that I could. If I didn’t think I could make it happen, I wouldn’t have followed through; I would have gone a different route.

You hit a bit of a roadblock a little while back.
It wasn’t a roadblock – there are times you just have to make certain decisions. I’ve suffered a lot of injuries throughout the past 18 months. If you’re referring to the knee injury, which has admittedly given me problems, you can add a bunch of other things that I’d consider setbacks that have affected my game. Too many setbacks, honestly. I’m always pushing forward but there’s a point where one hits rock bottom. Not being able to train or compete, it’s frustrating and it takes its toll on you.

What happened after Indian Wells in March, when you injured your right knee and couldn’t compete in the semi-finals against Roger Federer?
Mentally, after Indian Wells, I suffered a major downturn. Ideas and scenarios were swirling inside my head. I considered shutting down my season to see if my body would recuperate instead of playing through injury after injury. Another option was to press on and play through the pain. Either way, the outlook was bleak. It required a change of mindset this time, and that doesn’t happen overnight.

Your coach, Carlos Moya, recently said: “Since I’ve starting coaching Rafa, I’ve never seen him look so [downtrodden].”
I was reluctant and hesitant to return. Physically, because of another tendon tear in my knee, and on top of going through all the treatment required in the recovery process, there was dealing with the pain. That’s the reality of the matter — it was different this time. That’s not how it usually works with me.

Normally, the injury is diagnosed, I rehab, practise and go through the routine like it’s no big deal. I’d play through pain and wouldn’t even consider that as suffering. This time was different … considering my history of competing, of fighting. Normally, this process isn’t what I would consider “suffering”.

Can you explain?
Between the level of pain and just being sidelined, there came a time when I just felt tired of all of this. I was sick of always being in pain. I get it: with competing comes pain. But when you’ve accumulated injuries, decided to deal with them, recovered from them and before you even get back on the court you’ve acquired another, that takes a toll.

After Indian Wells, I took a moment to make sense of all of it. I felt a little more upbeat around the time of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, but I was still in a very low place and hardly positive.

Following a first-round win over Leonardo Mayer [6-7(7), 6-4, 6-2] in Barcelona, you stayed in your room with your team for quite some time to contemplate things and come to some sort of conclusion.
I promised myself that I would play through Roland Garros with the attitude and energy necessary to confront all obstacles in my way. I wanted to give myself the opportunity to compete at the highest level possible throughout this clay-court season. I spoke with my team and we thought things over.

I needed motivation and there are things you can do in the moment to get that sort of uplifting feeling. YouTube is good for that; there are lots of inspirational videos on there. But I also had to think long-term and summon my inner strength. I did a lot of reflecting, self-evaluating.

You’ve said in the past that when you lose the illusion, the dream, that will be the day you start the next chapter.
I wasn’t in that situation. In this scenario, I was weighing the option of taking some time off to recover. It’s not a case of losing the drive of playing tennis. I had just lost the strength to face down every problem that sprung up on a daily basis and to deal with the debilitating pain. I had to make a decision, but not that drastic of a decision (retirement).

So you weren’t considering retirement.
No, not at all. Just contemplated a break for time to recover.

Did you feel all alone at that time?
I never feel alone, no matter where I go. I have lifelong friends, people I consider friends since I was three years old. I have the same core team. And I have my family in Manacor (on the island of Mallorca, Spain). Village life is different from life in a big city. I communicate daily with my family. There’s always a time, though, that whatever I’m going through, I’m the only one who knows what it feels like and to live through it. Sometimes I need help from the people who know me well, from people who love me. In this sense, I have always been very well accompanied, accommodated and advised.

All things considered, no matter how big the wound has been, you’ve always found a way to close it.
When I win, I bask in the glory, and when I lose, it feels like everything has gone wrong with the world. Don’t get me wrong, through the good and bad, I’m always emotionally stable, and staying on level ground helps me accept the positive with the negative and handle my feelings.

It’s a matter of reflecting and assessing things as they happen, then evaluating why they happened. Win or lose, I strive to do even better. The basic principle stays the same, though: I respect the game, and I respect my opponent.

...../2
 

vernonbc

Legend
2/.....

What are you most proud of these past few months?
Playing in Barcelona, in Madrid, in Rome, at Roland Garros ... this is the most beautiful time of the year for me. I’m pleased to have stuck to the promise I made myself going into the season, to give it my all, to appreciate the little improvements and to just be thankful for the opportunity to compete day in and day out. From that time in Barcelona through now, I’ve steadily improved. The self-evaluation has paid off. I made lots of small but important steps along the way.

What are you most satisfied with?
I’ve done almost nothing wrong. I wasn’t playing out-of-this-world tennis, but I have come through at important moments. My backhand has been on target, and my forehand is operating at a very high level. Just the fact that I’ve been able to play five tournaments in a row without withdrawing once is satisfying.

I’ve never said it before, but going a stretch like that gives me confidence that my body can hold up under pressure. I can rely on my body to endure what I put it through, even if it’s something as simple as running down shots or twisting and turning, without the fear of something going wrong.

You’re always the favourite when you step onto the court at Roland Garros. Does that affect you?
What people think has no effect on how I play. I control how I play. Feelings and opinions don’t fit into the outcome. I see this time of the year as a chance to add to my success, and I feel I’ve done that this season.

Have you ever stopped valuing everything you have achieved?
I haven’t made that mistake and don’t intend on doing so. I value it all. In the past, I sometimes felt more excited about some wins more than others, but even that sensation isn’t one I’ve felt since 2015. It’s dangerous to think that way.

The feeling shared among your rivals is that your peerless on clay. Do you consider yourself your own biggest rival?
I haven’t been. Maybe I’ve failed myself a little when it came to maintaining that always positive attitude and with my level of play (following the most recent injury).

But when I play my best, I achieve the intended results and have done so throughout my career. I said it in Barcelona this year: All I needed to do was to get well. They asked me if I had to win in Rome to win at Roland Garros (Nadal defeated Novak Djokovic 6-0, 4-6, 6-1 to lift his ninth Rome title in May). My response was “No, all I need to do is feel well to play well.”

You’re recovered and in top condition. Is anything possible once again?
I’ve never seen myself as capable of anything. I’m happy with what I’ve achieved so far, it’s all special. But the path doesn’t end here; this isn’t the end of the road. There’s still work to be done. I’m going to have to adjust my schedule a little bit, but that’s a matter I’ll discuss with my team. I want to be able to play my best in every tournament I enter and that’s the approach we’ll take moving forward following Wimbledon.

As you’ve said, you’ve strung together five consecutive tournaments without injury. With the grass season already here and the hard-court stretch not too far out, how concerned are you about another possible setback?
The option is always there to take some time off like I considered some months back. After all I’ve been through, acquiring an injury isn’t something that goes through my mind when I’m on the court. I’m an optimistic person, so all I can say is that I’m going to play and I’m thinking about playing at a high level.

It’s true that clay is a little less hard on the body, but I can’t dwell on that and also aspire to be successful going into the grass- and hard-court seasons. We’ll play with an adjusted calendar to give me the best possible chance to succeed.

Are you eager ahead of Wimbledon?
Realistically, I’ve had my chances at Wimbledon when I’ve been fit and playing well. I played five finals in a row there (2006-08, 10-11; DNP in 2009). I was on the cusp of reaching the final last year (l. to Djokovic 6-4, 3-6, 7-6[9], 3-6, 10-8). Winning at Roland Garros has definitely given me a boost in confidence going into Wimbledon. If I’m fit and I can prepare sufficiently, well, we’ll see what happens.
 
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