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."