French Open favourite Nadal knows he may pay for resurgence


Rafael Nadal knows there is a chance his body may pay for his return to form this year but the legendary Spaniard is putting that to the back of his mind as he bids to make history at the French Open.

Nadal has been resurgent this season, winning three consecutive tournaments and losing as many finals in what is proving to be a fruitful 2017.

The 14-time grand slam champion put on another clay-court masterclass to defeat Robin Haase in the second round 6-1 6-4 6-3 at Roland Garros, where he is striving to become the first player in the Open Era to win the same major 10 times.

An emotional Nadal withdrew from the French Open last year ahead of his third-round match due to a wrist injury and although he is currently pain-free, the tournament favourite is aware that his exploits could catch up with him.

He said: "For the moment, I am fine. I don't know what's going on later. It's obvious that I cannot miss the clay-court tournaments.

"I do not have an incredibly tight calendar. But it's true that I already played six finals.

"When you play six finals and some other good tournaments, then you are playing a lot of matches. That's all. But I am a tennis player at the end of the day, tennis players play tennis.

"So I do what I believe is good for my tennis career, [what] is good for my happiness. And then we'll see what's going on for my body. But that's it. Grass is always a little tougher than this."

Nadal took Benoit Paire apart in the first round in Paris, but felt that his display against Haase on Court Philippe Chatrier on Wednesday was even better.

"I think I played a good match, I think I played a solid match, hitting very well with the forehand. I think my serve worked better than two days ago," said Nadal.

"I was more or less under control during the whole match, so I'm very happy winning in straight sets. Robin is a dangerous opponent always. He can serve very well, hit very strong. I think I did a lot of things well this afternoon."