Rafael Nadal: Nine French Open titles more than enough for one man

Despite being on the brink of history, Rafael Nadal cut a relaxed figure during his post-match news conference at the French Open.

Spain's Rafael Nadal.   -  Getty Images

Rafael Nadal has joked that nine French Open titles are more than enough for one man as he prepares to face Stan Wawrinka for a historic 10th win at Roland Garros.

Nadal ruthlessly saw off Dominic Thiem in straight sets on Court Philippe Chatrier on Friday to move one match away from becoming the first player to win 10 titles in the same Grand Slam in the Open Era.

But reflecting on his chance to further cement his status as the 'King of Clay', Nadal seemed pretty content with his current Paris haul. "I think I don't make more history. It's enough. Nine are more than good!" he quipped. "Another thing is today is not the moment to think about that. It's a moment [in which] I have to be very happy. I've played a very good event, all the matches playing well. Today was not an exception. I started a little bit more nervous today but then I played well."

Asked whether a 10th Roland Garros crown would be his greatest achievement, Nadal added: "I don't know. Nine or 10 is only 10 per cent more. It's true that 10 is a beautiful number, but actually my favourite is nine. But for sure, if it becomes 10, that will be my favourite.


"The thing that I am most proud about in my career probably is the 2013 year. That year was amazing because I had so many problems with my knee, so I was not able to practice at all. I finished the year being World No. 1, winning here, winning the U.S. Open, so that's the thing that I am most proud of.

"Nine here is probably difficult. I always say the same thing - if I do it, somebody else is probably going to come and do it, because I don't consider myself very special. But it's obvious that you need to combine a lot of things, and a lot of things have to be put together to have that record. And if it's 10, even more.

"You need to be lucky, you need to play well, you need to be healthy for those two weeks, so it's a lot of things. I am not the right one to say, but to play 10 finals here is something difficult."

Nadal insists his liking for the number nine does not come from his French Open tally. "It has nothing to do with the fact I won the French Open nine times," he explained. "It's because nine is actually is my favourite number. But don't get me wrong, I would prefer 10 over 9, no doubt!"

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