Interview: 'I do not know if I will win Roland Garros'

Rafael Nadal: "I do not know if I will win Roland Garros"

He has won the French Grand Slam nine times but still feels he must improve. "I have never played perfectly," said the 28 year old Spaniard, who is fourth in the world rankings.

The symbol of the bull, that identifies the custom collection that Janice Lucena, the creative designer for Nike, designed for him before the 2011 Roland Garros, appears on the front of his aqua colored shirt and his white hat. Rafael Nadal is finally in Buenos Aires after a long hiatus that lasted a decade and talks exclusively to Clarín. The ATP schedule only allows him to have five minutes available and questions and answers come quickly.

-Having won Roland Garros nine times, among all your other achievements, has made you the best player of all time on clay. How many times do you believe you can win there?

I do not know how much longer I can win and I do not know if i'll win Roland Garros again.

-What does it depend on to win again? Is it your physical fitness, your opponents, motivation?

What will happen in the future depends on a number of factors. Opponents play an important part, physical fitness is important, the inner strength I have also plays an important role. But if one has no physical fitness inner strength is practically impossible. But hey, as I said, I do not know how many more times I can win Roland Garros, but I hope to be ready to compete in a few more.

-Almost everything you have achieved has happened in the last ten years since you came to Buenos Aires last. But what has changed in your personal life during the last decade?

Not much has changed. My life is pretty similar and has remained on the same path, living in the same place. Luckily I have a healthy family which is most important. And thankfully, I have experienced fantastic and very nice moments. Some were less good, but just as it is for everyone, not everything in life can be rosy.

-With what expectations did you come to play the Argentina Open this time?

I came without expectation. This is a city I love. But apart from the language, which represents me and other Spaniards, playing a historic tournament like Buenos Aires is a great motivator. And I hope to be prepared to play.

-What would it mean to be the champion?

A win is win. And for anyone to win the tournament is important. When you come back from a time without wins, without being in the final as I have, a time of injury, winning means a lot. But to get there the best you can do is not to think about winning, but instead think about working on the next match, the next workout. And then you can have opportunities. When one has a period of time without winning, with physical problems like I had, if you're thinking about winning and and are obsessed with it, it creates a state of anxiety and pressure that can work against you. That does not mean that I lack enthusiasm and motivation for what I'm doing and what I'm going to try this week, but always with the humility to realize that I did not get here after winning five tournaments in a row and that every match and every opponent could possibly send me to the next place. So I'll have to be attentive to the fullest, in every way, and try to play a little better than I have been doing because I think I was not quite there yet in Rio de Janeiro.

-Can you think of a match that you played perfectly?

I have never played perfectly. There have been good matches in my career, very positive ones, very exciting ones. And the Wimbledon final against Federer was definitely one of the most exciting moments of my career.

-What will you most likely do when you leave the court?

Evidently I'd like to visit many places in the world that I have not been able to see. I have traveled to many places but have not really seen or explored them. I love nature and have not visited places with nature. It is something that awaits me when I retire.

Five minutes. Last reply. Nadal 100 percent. Stop.

(translated by Chris Boardman for

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