Rafael Nadal: 'Playing on Court Philippe-Chatrier is always special'

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Rafael Nadal: 'Playing on Court Philippe-Chatrier is always special'

Ever since 2005, there has been a special connection between Rafael Nadal and Roland Garros. Rafa made a debut in Paris at 18, winning the title to become the last teenager with a Major crown and embracing an incredible Parisian run, winning 105 out of 108 matches at beloved clay Major!

Thirteen of Nadal's 20 Major trophies came on Court Philippe-Chatrier, feeling at home every time he plays on it and producing his 100%, regardless of the opponent on the other side of the net. Speaking about his Roland Garros campaigns last year, Nadal reminded how much he loves to compete on Court Philippe-Chatrier, calling it an exceptional experience and always giving his 100%.

Despite challenging conditions in Paris last fall, new balls and a roof about Court Philippe-Chatrier, Nadal was a player to beat in the French capital, winning all seven encounters in straight sets and sailing towards the milestone 20th Major title.

Rafa lost 23 games in the opening four matches to preserve energy for more formidable rivals, staying focused when it mattered the most against Jannik Sinner, Diego Schwartzman and Novak Djokovic in the decisive rounds. Instead of a thrilling final between two world's best players, Novak stood no chance against Rafa, who beat him 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 in two hours and 41 minutes after a brilliant performance.

Rafael Nadal spoke about Court Philippe-Chatrier at the last year's Roland Garros.

It was Rafa's 100th victory at Roland Garros, scoring most of those on Court Philippe-Chatrier and hoping for more this June. Struggling on his beloved clay this spring, Rafa wished to make one last push, secure the 14th Roland Garros crown and become the first player with 21 Major titles.

The Spaniard reached the semi-final, where he faced world no. 1 Novak Djokovic. Unlike last October, the Serb was ready to fight and chase his second Roland Garros crown, beating Rafa 3-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-2 after four hours and 11 minutes to deliver's Nadal's third Roland Garros loss.

"I'm pleased with my performance today, and it will be another difficult match against Travaglia or Nishikori. I hope to play at a good level. It's always exceptional to compete here in Paris, especially on Court Philippe-Chatrier; I'm delighted to play here again.

I'm trying my best every day, working hard to be better and better in every match. Today was not that cold, so that's the main thing; the conditions are not that bad," Rafael Nadal said.