Rafael Nadal hoping to overtake Bjorn Borg’s record with a seventh French Open title at Roland Garros.
Rafael Nadal’s steely focus will be riveted on Nicolas Almagro as the Majorcan continues his quest to become the first man to win seven French Open titles, breaking him out of the tie he is in with Swedish legend Bjorn Borg.
Almagro’s hopes against Nadal, on the face of it, look slim to say the least.
The defending champion leads their head-to-heads by 7-0, including two straight sets wins here in 2008 and 2010.
And Nadal, bouncing back from his Australian Open final loss to Novak Djokovic, has looked well nigh unbeatable in Paris losing just 19 games in four rounds for his best ever start at Roland Garros.
Still, Nadal says he is wary of Almagro, who is on an eight-match winning streak on clay, having won the Nice tournament in the week before Paris.
“He has fantastic shots. His serve helps. He has a very good serve. First and second serve are fantastic.
“Then, after this serve, he’s able to play aggressive. He’s able to hit the ball in the right conditions, in a good position. It’s very difficult to stop him.
“So my work has to be to put him in difficult positions, try to play long, try to play a little bit to the sides, to the angles, make him play a little bit more uncomfortable.”
A win for Nadal would be his 50th at Roland Garros since he first appeared as an 18-year-old in 2005. His only defeat came against Sweden’s Robin Soderling in a fourth round match in 2009.