The Spanish superstar, who will be bidding to capture a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam championship crown with his 14th Roland Garros title, admitted, “I see it as natural. One player is almost 40 [Federer], another is almost 35 [Nadal] and the other is 34 [Djokovic]. It seems logical that younger players [will] climb in the [FedEx ATP] Rankings.
Grand Slam Singles Title Leaders
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“Whenever that happens you have these consequences [with the seedings]. I see it as completely normal. I’m not worried about it. I have a lot of work in front of me to play a potential match versus Djokovic [in the semi-final].
“They would need to play each other and I have my own path. My path right now is [Alexei] Popyrin [in the first round] and that’s where my mind is. My draw is hard enough to be thinking about anything else. I must continue my preparation, focus on my routines and keep advancing in the way we want.”
The 34-year-old Nadal beat Popyrin 6-3, 6-3 in the Mutua Madrid Open third round a few weeks ago.
“He’s young, he has the power,” said Nadal. “He has big shots. As always, I need to be ready for it. I need to keep practising [over] the next couple of days [and] try to be in the best shape possible. I know every round is tough, I always respect every opponent. I respected everyone since the beginning of my career. And Popyrin is a dangerous one, so I need to play well and I’m looking forward to trying to make that happen.”
Nadal comes into Roland Garros, where he has compiled an outstanding 100-2 match record since his 2005 debut, on the back of capturing titles at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell and the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome.