Rafael Nadal is more often than not the favorite to win when he steps on to the court. Over the years Nadal has firmly established himself as a player to be wary of, and that is well and truly reflected in his results.
However, the Mallorcan recently revealed that he never considers himself as the favorite for any match.
"To be honest with you, inside I feel like I can lose every game I play on the tour," Nadal said while speaking on a Spanish talk show hosted by Pablo Matos. "I am confident in my abilities and my chances of winning, but I don't tell myself that I have a 100% chance of winning."
Rafael Nadal also gave an insight into his mental state - which he described as ‘100% negative’ - when he loses a match.
“The second I lose the match, my mind is 100% negative,” Nadal said. “Of course it depends on the importance of the match.”
Rafael Nadal boasts of the highest match winning percentage of all time - 83.1%. On the rare occasions that he does lose, Nadal makes it a point to get over his defeat quickly. The 13-time French Open champion explained how his team helps him work out the reasons for every loss.
“But in general, I speak with my team, I analyze what was badly done, well done, then 5 minutes later I think about what we will have to work and improve in the future to find solutions,” Nadal added.
I did not arrive at Roland Garros in doubt: Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal also spoke about the aftermath of his shock defeat to Diego Schwartzman at the Rome Masters. He stressed that while the loss was unexpected, it never made him question his chances at Roland Garros.
Many had written off the Spaniard’s chances for the French Open after his early exit at Rome. However, Nadal explained that since he had suffered only one setback in isolation, rather than a series of morale-crushing defeats, it was not that big a deal.
“I lost in Rome but it was my first tournament since taking over the circuit, it made sense," Nadal said. "I did not arrive at Roland Garros in doubt. But when the defeats follow one another, one's confidence crumbles and doubt settles in our minds."