Rafael Nadal: Favourite tag will mean very little in exceptionally strong French Open field

Rafael Nadal press conference

Rafael Nadal says that him being the big favourite to once again win the French Open matters very little in reality.

Nadal already has 11 Roland Garros titles to his name, and is widely expected to be too strong for the field once again this year.

With Novak Djokovic back to his best and Roger Federer back in the field it may not be as straight-forward for Nadal, though, and that’s something of which he accustely aware.

“I don’t care if I’m the favourite,” he said. “I care about feeling well and playing well.

“I appreciate that you (the media) see me like that, but (Dominic) Thiem, Novak (Djokovic), Federer, (Stefanos) Tsitsipas who has been playing well, (Juan Martin) del Potro, (Kei) Nishikori… all those that are the best in the world will be favourites.

“The only thing that worries me is being well and being competitive.

“The only favourite that matters is the one who has the cup at home in two weeks’ time.”

Rafael Nadal Roland Garros French Open trophy

Nadal’s form on clay coming into the French Open has not quite been as imperious as usual after failing at the semi-final stage before finally winning a title in Rome last week.

However, Nadal is looking at it very philosophically.

“Losing in the semi-finals is considered bad,” he added.

“You have to have the humility to value small improvements. For me, one very positive thing was that before I started Rome, it was not a disaster. I’d made three semi-finals.

“It’s not incredible, but it’s not a total disaster either.”

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