Now very little is missing from the start of Roland Garros 2021, one of the most anticipated tournaments of the year and where Rafael Nadal can make history again. The Spanish champion, if he wins one more title in Paris, can break with his eternal rival Roger Federer and become the only tennis player to reach 21 titles in his career.
To the microphones of Bleacher Report, the Spanish tennis player spoke on many topics, in particular on the subject of retirement and much more. Here are his specific statements: "I am not preparing for Roland Garros 2021 just thinking that it is a way to overtake Federer and become the player with the most Grand Slam titles, but I think it is perhaps the most important tournament of my career.
Obviously I would like to reach 21, but that is not the only thing that motivates me in Paris. In the last month I have grown a lot, winning a historic tournament like Rome gives me confidence, I really think I needed a week like the one at the Foro Italico " Rafa Nadal is also in the final phase of his career and many wonder when he will retire permanently from the sport.
In this regard, the Asturian commented: "The day I don't feel pressure, I think it will be time to retire. Without that kind of emotion it is difficult for me to play at the highest level, he is a personal person like me."
I want to play well and I know that things are difficult to achieve. I hope I have the opportunity to play tennis again for a long time and remain competitive." He continued:" The way I face each challenge has changed a bit with age, now I have a different approach.
Compared to a few years ago I have more passion for this sport, perhaps it is also the experience. Roger, Novak and I have been fighting for a long time and we have great mutual respect for our results, it is really difficult to get the results that the three of us have achieved together."
Wilander talks about Rafael Nadal
Mats Wilander believes Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are beginning to lose their grip on the sport in the face of the NextGen's steady rise. Wilander also reckons that some of the younger players could give Nadal and Djokovic a difficult time in the early rounds of the French Open this year.
"The only ammunition left is they (Nadal and Djokovic) have the experience of playing five sets and coming through," Wilander stated. "That’s the advantage they still have over the rest, but clearly the gap is closing.
There is a chance that a younger player can take a chunk out of Nadal’s confidence in the first round and even if he comes through, that could leave him lacking a little belief," added the Swede. "Then he could get bullied around in his next match and if he doesn’t have any easy matches, his confidence may be shaken by the time he gets to the final."