Even though he’s heavily touted to win the Roland Garros title for the eighth time this Sunday, world number four Rafael Nadal said that he doesn’t feel like the favorite.
“I don’t feel [like the] favourite,” said Nadal. “I feel that I am [a] finalist,” he added.
Nadal has a 19-4 head to head series lead over Ferrer and even won 15 of the past 16 matches against his compatriot.
“Tomorrow will be a great day for the sport in Spain. It is very difficult to have Spanish players in the final of a Grand Slam,” Nadal said.
Nadal and Ferrer are close friends and the 11-time Grand Slam winner revealed that they’ve often hang out in player lounges in tournaments around the globe.
“We have played a lot of video games together in the afternoons,” Nadal said.
Nadal and Ferrer are currently the top two players in the tour right now in terms of match wins this 2013 season with Nadal leading with 42-2 and Ferrer in second with 37-9.
Last year, Nadal eliminated Ferrer at the French Open semifinals in a dominating 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 scoreline.
“I hope I’ll be able to play my shots – long shots close to the baseline,” said Nadal. “I need to dictate the match at all times, because if I give him an edge, then he is going to push me.
“This is something I really want to avoid, so I don’t want to make things easy for him. I want to make things difficult for him.
“The last two times we have played, in Madrid and Rome, it was close. I know tomorrow will be very difficult match,” the Mallorcan said.