Nadal’s mood cautiously optimistic
MADRID: World number one Rafael Nadal was cautiously optimistic Wednesday as he left for Paris where he has the chance to become the first man to claim five successive French Open titles.
"I expect to play well. And we will see if I am ready to win or not, but of course it would please me very much to win it for the fifth consecutive time," he told reporters at the airport at Palma de Majorca.
"If I play at my best level, I think I can have a good result in Paris, and if this is not the case, I must take it calmly because this has been a good year for me."
Nadal, who turns 23 next month, has won the Australian Open, as well as the Rome, Monte Carlo and Indian Wells Masters this year and has already booked his place in the season-ending championships.
But he was defeated over the weekend on home soil at the Madrid Masters by Roger Federer, who is seeking to fulfill a lifetime ambition of securing a career Grand Slam at the May 24-June 7 French Open.
"Roland Garros will be difficult but we will see what will happen," said Nadal's coach and uncle, Toni Nadal.
"There is no extra pressure, it is always the same. But it is clear that the uncertainty increases with the win in Madrid by Federer, who had a good match."
Aside from Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray could beat Nadal, he added.
"We are aware that this could happen," he said.
Federer's win on Sunday came a day after Nadal spent over four hours beating Djokovic in his semi-final.