Rafael Nadal created history after becoming the first player in the Open era to win a tournament 10 times following his 6-1, 6-3 victory over Albert Ramos Vinolas in the Monte-Carlo Masters on Sunday (23 April).
The Spaniard labelled his achievement 'unbelievable' and revealed that it was a very important day in his career and later stated his desire to repeat the feat and make it 10 French Open titles at Roland Garros: "I want. I really want it too, no," Nadal said after his win, as quoted by Tennis World USA.
Nadal has made a brilliant start to the season and the final at Monte-Carlo was his fourth of the season, but he had come up short in the previous three. The 'king of clay' was the favourite to win coming into the tournament and his performances in the latter stages confirmed that he is almost back to his best level.
The 14-time men's singles Grand Slam champion will now be the favourite to win the second major of the year. Nadal, however, made it clear that his next objective is not the French Open, but the upcoming ATP 500 event in Barcelona which is followed Masters Series events in Madrid and Rome before they arrive at Roland Garros on 22 May.
"The next step is not Roland Garros. The next step is Barcelona. That's the real thing. Today is a good start of the clay court season. But I never take Monte-Carlo, Barcelona, Rome, Madrid like a preparation for no one tournament. These tournaments are so important for itself. That's the real thing. Then Roland Garros arrives later," the Spaniard responded to talk about him being favourite to add a 10th French Open title.
"Don't believe today that I am happy because winning here, that's gives me confidence for having more chances in Roland Garros. Today I'm very happy because I won a very important event. That's the most important thing for me. Next week, I am playing another very important event for me at home and I'm excited about that.
"Then I going to keep playing at home in Madrid. Is difficult to think about Roland Garros now. I have one that I already had lot of success in the past, then Roland Garros arrives. If I do the right things before Roland Garros, probably I will arrive well-prepared for trying an important thing there. But is few weeks away already," Nadal added.