Rafael Nadal on landing in same part of RG draw as Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer



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Rafael Nadal on landing in same part of RG draw as Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer

World No. 3 Rafael Nadal wasn't particularly concerned after landing in the same part of the French Open draw as Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. Recently, Daniil Medvedev replaced Nadal at No. 2 in the world and that's the main reason why the Big Three landed in the same part of the draw.

“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," Nadal said, per the ATP website.

“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”.

Nadal not taking Alexei Popyrin for granted

Nadal, who recently beat Popyrin at the Madrid Masters, is set to again face the young Australian. “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”. Ahead of the French Open, the organizers revealed a Nadal statue. “The statue is spectacular,” said Nadal, who beat Djokovic in the 2020 Roland Garros final.

“I think it is very real. If you haven’t seen it live, if you stay close you’ll notice. It’s a clean, modern statue and I’m very pleased. It’s really difficult to build a statue with that material and be so real as this one is.

“It means a lot. Having a statue within such a special place for our sport, in a place that is very special for me is something unique. Not being French, I can only say thanks to the FFT, to the former President who promoted it and the current President who continued with the project”.