Rafael Nadal: Loss to Fognini was my worst match on clay in 14 years

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Rafael Nadal: Loss to Fognini was my worst match on clay in 14 years

In an interview to Le Monde, Rafael Nadal recalled what his feelings were when he lost to Fabio Fognini in the Monte Carlo semifinals in April. The Spaniard was coming from a knee injury. "Of course, I had some doubts, but I was going through a complicated stage where I dealt with injuries.

I would not say it was the worst match of my career, but it was my worst match on clay in 14 years. At the time, I was not focused on the French Open. It was a difficult loss, but I managed to go through it," said the Mallorca native.

Asked if he felt less pressure heading into the French Open, Nadal replied: "No, for me the pressure is the same as my goals are always the same here. Pressure never comes from what the press writes or what people think from outside.

I put pressure on myself, regardless of whether I am the favorite or not... My motivation is about my ambitions and goals that I set in my career, not on what others could think." On how different he is as a player compared to when he won his maiden Grand Slam title in 2005, Nadal concluded: "All the players evolve during their career.

There are essential aspects of my game and mind that stayed the same, but of course I had to make my game evolve in order to stay competitive during my stage of career. I always did it thinking about my goals and staying positive."