Record 12-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal claims he came to the French Open with the motivation and goal he always has as he is aiming to lift a 20th Grand Slam title and equal Roger Federer on the all-time Grand Slam record list.
The French Open traditionally takes place in late-May and early-June but it was rescheduled for late-September and early-October due to the coronavirus outbreak. The conditions have never been trickier at the French Open but Nadal doesn't want to complain.
"(I have) come here with the same goal, same passion and motivation. Another thing is, of course, the conditions that we are facing are completely different than in a normal Roland Garros. Yeah, that's true. Of course, the ideal situation is another one," Nadal said, when asked which challenges are different and which are the same at this year's French Open, per Ravi Ubha.
"But here we are. Just in some way we have to try our best in every single moment, no? For ourselves, first thing, because we are lucky enough that we can play tennis under this very tough worldwide circumstances. In another way because there is a lot of people suffering in the world.
At least when we are fighting and creating a good show for the people who are at home is a good entertainment, no? That's it."
Nadal safely progressing at the French Open
Nadal claimed three straight set wins to comfortably set up a round-of-16 meeting against Sebastian Korda.
Nadal's latest victim was Stefano Travaglia as the Spaniard thrashed the Italian 6-1 6-4 6-0. "We are in a very strange situation after a lot of months without playing much tennis, especially for me [given that] I didn’t playing in America,” Nadal said after beating Travaglia, per the ATP website.
“So I don’t know if it is a positive thing or a negative thing [to win quickly]. I take it [as] a positive thing because I am playing quite well to win against a player like Stefano today”. "The score is because I did a lot of things well.
I played more aggressive than the previous days so I am very happy for that. I went to the net more often and I hit quite a lot of winners, my serve is working better. So let’s see. I need to keep going and hope to keep improving with every single day”.