This year at the "cathedral" of clay court tennis in Paris' leafy western suburbs, a statue of 13-time champion Rafael Nadal has been erected in the grounds.

While thankful for the gesture of the French Tennis Federation, such very public recognition is hard to square with the decidedly unstarry Nadal.

"It's true that what I accomplished in Paris, even if I don't like to say it, it's something very, very special.

"I am grateful and I understand the gesture: I accomplished something that was very difficult to imagine," he said.

As he targets a 14th title at Roland Garros and a record-setting 21st career crown, Nadal said "no-one is invincible".

"No-one is invincible, anywhere," said Nadal whose career record at Roland Garros stands at 100 victories against just two losses since his title-winning Paris debut in 2005.