The Roland Garros facility in Paris is now like a second home for Rafael Nadal. At the Bois de Boulogne, the Majorcan has triumphed 12 times out of 15 participations, with a total toll of 93 wins and 2 losses (in 2016 he retired before taking the field for his third round match).
This year, however, the situation is very different: the tournament is held between September and October, with evident differences in weather conditions and humidity levels compared to May. In addition, Rafa recently lost in the quarter-finals in Rome to Argentine Diego Schwartzman, without even winning a set.
In a recent interaction with LesEchos, Rafael Nadal explained why his lack of match practice might not be such a huge factor at the French Open this year. The Spaniard is looking for a record-extending 13th title at Roland Garros, and he said he 'feels at home' there.
Nadal on his relationship with Roland Garros
"Everyone will be affected by these unprecedented circumstances. This period is going to be a test. We will see how things evolve in the coming weeks," Rafael Nadal said.
"I have to keep the attitude as positive as possible knowing that getting back to the track is never easy at the start. I have to accept this challenge and that I will not necessarily have the best feeling of the game.
But with the right attitude… I have already made so many comebacks after long periods without playing!" That also marked his first Major win since the French Open in 2014, ending a three-year dry run - the longest for him during his career so far.
"I have so many. Maybe the victory in 2017, it was very special, my tenth title," Nadal said. "But honestly I have enjoyed all these years and not just on the court. I have a lot of friends at the French federation, among the people who work on the tournament.
I feel a bit at home there. I can feel the support of the crowd, of the people there. It's something hard to describe but when you play and get that support you feel great," he added. In the interview, Rafael Nadal said that he remains open to coaching in the future.
"I wouldn't say that (coaching) will never happen," Nadal continued. "I have an academy and I like to give advice to young players and coaches there, so I can see myself helping these young people in the future."