Rafael Nadal: 'At Roland Garros, I want to avoid losses from Monte Carlo, Madrid'

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Rafael Nadal: 'At Roland Garros, I want to avoid losses from Monte Carlo, Madrid'

The 13-time Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal will seek another Parisian crown in the next two weeks, setting eyes on the record-breaking 21st Major crown. The Spaniard had some ups and downs on his beloved surface this spring, winning two titles after saving a match point and suffering two quarter-final losses in Monte Carlo and Madrid.

Speaking ahead of Roland Garros, Nadal said that he wants to avoid those defeats in Paris, hoping to deliver his A-game and fight for the title. In Monte Carlo, Rublev defeated his idol 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 in two hours and 32 minutes, preventing Rafa from winning the Monte Carlo crown for the second straight time.

Rublev stole Nadal's serve seven times, dominating the scoreboard in sets one and three to deliver Nadal's 41st ATP loss on clay.
The youngster had 23 winners and 28 unforced errors, taming his strokes nicely and taking advantage of Nadal's over 30 unforced mistakes, especially from his backhand wing that never looked like a serious shot.

In Madrid, the Spaniard opened a 4-2 advantage against Alexander Zverev before the German bounced back and left the rival behind, rattling off ten of the final 14 games to beat the home favorite 6-4, 6-4 en route to his fourth Masters 1000 crown and the second in Madrid.

Rafael Nadal wants to avoid his mistakes from Monte Carlo and Madrid in Paris.

"Noone is invincible, anywhere. I lost early in Monte Carlo and Madrid this year, and I hope to avoid that at Roland Garros. I will give my best to chase another title.

Ten years ago, I didn't think I would still be active in the mid-30s. On the other hand, things looked good two years ago, and I knew I still have a couple of good seasons in front of me. I had so many problems with injuries in the past, and it wasn't easy to imagine that my career would last so long.

Roland Garros is a very special place for me. What matters in the next two weeks is to play well, being the favorite or not. The one who produces the best tennis will have the most chances to go all the way; my goal is to be the one who plays on the highest level.

To be honest, I played better in Monte Carlo and Rome than at Roland Garros in my early years. It's more challenging to have a good feeling at Roland Garros; the court is enormous, and there are different sensations. I never had bad feelings here, but I also had excellent feelings in other tournaments on this surface.

My worst Roland Garros memories are, without a doubt, that Robin Soderling loss from 2009 and also 2016 when I withdrew due to a wrist injury. Even though I don't like to say it, what I have accomplished in Paris is indeed very special.

I'm grateful, and I understand the gesture: I accomplished something challenging to imagine," Rafael Nadal said.