Nadal to keep birthday celebrations low key at Roland Garros

By Sports Desk June 02, 2019

Rafael Nadal will be keeping his birthday celebrations low key after ensuring he will feature in the French Open quarter-finals the following day.

Second seed Nadal eased through a fourth-round meeting with grand slam debutant Juan Ignacio Londero 6-2 6-3 6-3 in hot and windy conditions on Court Philippe-Chatrier on Sunday.

The Spaniard's hopes of a 12th title at Roland Garros remain alive but he will not be going overboard when he turns 33 on Monday.

Asked how his birthday celebrations have changed over the years, Nadal replied: "Not much, because celebrations are not that good when I am not here, because that means that I lost or I have been injured. But in terms of a party, it is higher when I am at home than when I am here.

"Tomorrow what can I do? Just celebrate here a little bit with the people from the tournament, all the workers there that, being honest, for me, they are so special, because I always had an amazing relationship with all of them.

"And then probably have a dinner, small dinner. But I play the next day, so not a big thing."

He added with a chuckle: "And I am not happy to be 33 already."

Nadal's domination of the French Open began when he lifted La Coupe des Mousquetaires on his debut as a teenager in 2005, and he is pleased to have displayed greater longevity than many thought was possible.

"Obviously when I was 18, thinking that I could still be here at the age of 33, it was probably something incredible and impossible to think about," said Nadal.

"Some people thought that I would finish my career a bit earlier. But some of us have been pushing to continue fighting a bit longer.

"Luckily, despite all the [injury] problems I had, the most positive thing is that I managed to maintain the desire and the pleasure of moments, obviously with some highs and some lows.

"But even when you had a low moment, I always found the motivation to continue and continue with my illusions and my hopes. Also, I had people supporting me."

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