Rafael Nadal ready to continue his love affair with ‘special’ Roland Garros, but first a little bit of rest

Rafael Nadal fixing his headband

On the back of another successful Italian Open campaign, Rafael Nadal is looking forward to taking a breather before upping his training ahead of another assault on Roland Garros.

The 20-time Grand Slam winner held off Novak Djokovic in a two-hour and 49-minute encounter on Sunday to secure his 10th ATP Masters 1000 title in Rome.

His 7-5, 1-6, 6-3 victory saw him equal Djokovic’s record tally of 36 Masters titles while he also reduced the Serbian’s lead in their head-to-head to 29-28.

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic’s epic rivalry shows no sign of waning in Rome final

Although there are a couple of ATP 250 events taking place over the next fortnight ahead of the clay-court Grand Slam in Paris, Nadal won’t be in action again until the French Open, which he will be gunning to win for a record-extending 14th time.

Asked about his preparations for Roland Garros, the Spaniard replied: “Well,[it] is always a very special place, of course, for me. Everybody knows that probably is the most important place in my tennis career.

“I need to go back home. I need to rest a little bit. I played a lot of hours this week. So couple of days off and then start working. I think I can work in a couple of things that I can do a little bit better or I can keep confirming that I am on the way.

“I think I have been improving this week, but I need to keep going with that improvement, because when you improve and you’re able to do it every day for longer time, then it’s more confidence and you feel more confident and more safe, no, that you want to do it on the next tournament.

“So I just need to keep going. I know what I need to work for the next couple of weeks, and I gonna do it. That’s it, no? Work, relax mentally, and work the right way.”

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