Need to play my best to beat Thiem: Rafael Nadal

Jun 10, 2018, 12:55 IST | Agencies

The Spaniard, with 16 majors to his name, will play his 24th Grand Slam final at Roland Garros against Dominic Thiem who is in his first

Need to play my best to beat Thiem: Rafael Nadal
World No. 1 Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal, 32, admitted that his desire to clinch an 11th French Open title today is fired by his growing realisation that the end of his career may not be too far away.

The Spaniard, with 16 majors to his name, will play his 24th Grand Slam final at Roland Garros against Dominic Thiem who is in his first. Today's victory will give Nadal an 11th title in Paris and equal Margaret Court's all-time record for wins at the same Slam event - in her case, the Australian Open from 1960 and 1973 Nadal still trails great rival Roger Federer by four major titles although the Swiss star is more than four years older. "For me, the motivation to play here always is high, high as possible," said Nadal.

Austria's Dominic Thiem
Austria's Dominic Thiem

"But for me, I believe that there are limited chances in your career. I have lost a lot of opportunities through injuries, and I know the years are going quick. So there is not 10 more chances to keep playing here."

The statistics illustrate Nadal's concerns - he has missed at least eight Slam tournaments in his career through a legacy of wrist and knee problems.
Ominously for Thiem, Nadal said: "My feeling is I have a very difficult match against a player that is playing great. I know I have to play my best if I want to have chances.

"Sunday is the day to give my best, the day to increase even a little bit more the level. I hope to be ready to do it. That's the goal." Thiem is the only man to beat the World No. 1 on clay in the last two years.

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