Tennis

Rafael Nadal happy after Rome Masters loss to Djokovic

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Football News
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Rafael Nadal is happy with how he is playing at the moment and remains confident about winning the French Open which begins next week.

The world no.1 lost to fierce rival Novak Djokovic in the final of the Rome Masters on Sunday with a three setter in what has been a difficult clay campaign thus far for the Spaniard.

Nadal is known as one of the greatest ever players on the dirt and his eight Roland Garros wins reflect that, he will be in the hunt for a record ninth success when the action kicks-off this year in Paris.

A win will also draw him level with Pete Sampras on 14 Grand Slam titles, in that instance only Roger Federer would be left to conquer on the all-time list.

However the 27-year-old has been on the wrong end of quarter-final shocks in Monte Carlo and Barcelona, as well as a lucky win in the final of the Madrid Open when Kei Nishikori was forced to retire having been a set up.

Despite his latest defeat in Italy, Nadal remains upbeat after what he perceives is an improvement.

"Two weeks ago, my chances to play well in Roland Garros were not very high," he said. "But I will arrive now more encouraged."

"My feelings [about Roland Garros] are better now than one week ago.

"Each week of the clay season got better for me. I hope to be ready.

"I'm very proud about this week. I was able to play in another final here. I was able to compete well against Novak, probably one of the best players of the moment."

The form of Djokovic has been leading many to think that the Serbian can finally complete the Career Slam. The 26-year-old returned from an arm injury in the Italian capital and his best form clearly hasn't left him.

The world no.2 has only ever reached the final of the French Open once - back in 2012 - but he has won at six Grand Slams, four of those have come at the Australian Open thanks to his hard court prowess. However it has been over a year since Djokovic won a major title.

Nadal and Djokovic have formed one of tennis' greatest rivalries in recent years. The pair have met 41 times on-court, with the Spaniard slightly edging their head-to-head record with 22 wins.

Their last four clashes, though, have all ended in Djokovic wins all of which have come in finals. 

It won't just be the world no.2 that will fancy his chances against the reigning champion, who has only tasted one defeat - in 2009 - in his favoured event. 

Roger Federer will hope to recover from his own slump to add to his victory five years ago and add an 18th title to his busy trophy cabinet. The likes of Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka and Wimbledon winner Andy Murray also have experience of winning on the biggest stage.

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Topics:
Tennis
Novak Djokovic
French Open
Rafael Nadal

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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