at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Paris – Rafael Nadal insisted that he feels 'zero' pressure going into Sunday's history-defining French Open final against Novak Djokovic even if heavy rain threatens to swamp the Roland Garros spectacle.
Nadal is bidding to become the first man to win seven French Open titles but faces world No 1 Djokovic who needs a first Paris crown to become just the third man to hold all four Grand Slams at the same time.
“The pressure is zero,” said Spanish second seed Nadal, who has a 51-1 record on the claycourts of Roland Garros and has reached his seventh final for the loss of just 35 games and without dropping a set.
“The pressure is that it's another final at Roland Garros. If I get the seven, maybe that's important, maybe not. But the pressure is the same every year. The important thing is that it's the French Open, one of my top tournaments of the year.
“I am playing well almost every day. I have to respect Djokovic as he has beaten me many times. I will fight for every ball and then we will see.”
Sunday's eagerly-awaited clash could, however, be badly affected by heavy rain which is forecast to sweep across Paris, possibly pushing the final back to Monday.
“If it rains, then it rains and we play Monday,” said Nadal.
“I heard there was a chance of rain, but I am thinking about playing on Sunday. If not, I will come back on Monday.” – Sapa-AFP