Rafael Nadal admits ‘I do not know if it will be the last match here in Roland-Garros’
Rafael Nadal is fighting to “keep living the dream”, but he concedes that he is playing each match as it could be his last at Roland Garros given his injury situation.
The 13-time French Open winner battled his way into the quarter-final as he came through a titanic five-set clash against Felix Auger-Aliassime in four hours and 21 minutes. It was far from an ideal scenario for the 21-time Grand Slam champion as he played only five matches on clay in the build-up to the tournament due to injury.
And it doesn’t get easier as he will face world No 1 and defending champion Novak Djokovic, who beat him in last year’s semi-final, in the last eight.
Nadal, though, determined to enjoy every moment as he is wary that his career-threatening foot problem could flare up at any moment and that could be that in terms of his tennis career.
“I am in the quarter-finals of Roland Garros. Two weeks and a half ago, even if I had good hopes, positive hopes after Rome, I didn’t even know if I would be able to be here,” he said.
“So just enjoying the fact that I am here for one more year. And being honest, every match that I play here, I don’t know if it is going to be my last match here in Roland Garros in my tennis career. That’s my situation now.”
He added: “That’s why I am just trying to enjoy as much as possible and fight as much as I can to keep living the dream that is [to] keep playing tennis and be back in a very advanced round of Roland Garros, playing against the world No. 1.
“Let’s see. I hope to be able to give myself a chance to play at the highest level possible.”
Having won the Italian Open in the lead-up to Roland Garros, Djokovic will be the favourite while he also has the psychological edge following his victory over the Spaniard in Paris last year.
“We know each other well,” Nadal said of his great rival. “We have a lot of history together. He came here after winning in Rome. For me, it was not an ideal situation to arrive here. But here we are. We are at Roland Garros, it is my favourite place without a doubt.
“The only thing I can tell you, I am going to be focused and try my best. The only thing I can guarantee is that I am going to fight until the end.”
John McEnroe’s sneaker argument with Travis Scott revealed by leaked zoom call
Travis Scott and John McEnroe got into on a zoom call.
Orange Bowl sees British teen Hannah Klugman make history
Hannah Klugman won the coveted Orange Bowl championship in Florida, solidifying her place among the sport’s most promising future prospects.
WATCH: Roger Federer makes dashing appearance in Moet and Chandon teaser
Roger Federer features in ‘The iconic moments with Moët & Chandon’.
The 6 players who won their first ATP title in 2023, featuring Ben Shelton and Arthur Fils
All six maiden titlists were unseeded and competing in their first ATP final.
What is Coco Gauff’s net worth after record-breaking earnings in 2023 and new deals with Rolex and UPS
Coco Gauff has sponsors lining up to get in on the action.
Marie Bouzkova hires Grand Slam winner as new coach in bid to join WTA elite
Marie Bouzkova has a new coach.
Incredible successes stun teenager with a bright future
Alina Korneeva has already turned heads on the WTA Tour.
Jannik Sinner, Ben Shelton or Chris Eubanks: Who has been the most improved player in 2023
Who has been the most improved player in 2023
Novak Djokovic makes honest admission about his relationship with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal
Novak Djokovic openly addressed his relationship with his two great rivals and revealed he hopes it changes.
Leading coach identifies ‘huge difference’ between longevity of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer
Novak Djokovic’s current level has been compared to Roger Federer’s form at a similar age.