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Nadal: "My Motivation Always Is The Same"

Paris, France

Nadal© AFP/Getty ImagesRafael Nadal aims for a record seventh Roland Garros trophy.

For Rafael Nadal, Paris is more than just a place where he’s lived out his greatest successes. It’s a city that puts the Spaniard at ease, a relaxed state of mind the World No. 2 will need as he goes for a record-breaking seventh Roland Garros trophy*.

“I spend a lot of time here in the city and I feel comfortable,” Nadal said. “I came here with my family for holidays like 10 years ago, and since that moment I've always loved this place.”

Nadal enjoyed a fine European clay-court season, ending a string of seven title match defeats to World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in Monte-Carlo and avenging his 2011 Rome final loss to the Serbian in Rome. He also triumphed in Barcelona for the seventh time, defeating countryman David Ferrer for the title.

“I played fantastic tournaments in Monte-Carlo, Barcelona, and Rome. That's it. I'm playing well,” said Nadal. “I arrived here with positive feelings, and I will try my best to be very competitive and to be in the right level to have my chances.”

Read 'Nadal: Remember Paris' In All-New DEUCE!

Although Nadal has an opportunity to break a tie with Bjorn Borg for the most men’s singles titles, the 25 year old finds that his hunger this year is no different than when he made his first appearance seven years ago.

“This tournament is enough important, not because now I have six [titles]. I have much more than I ever dreamed,” Nadal said. “I am coming here with motivation of every year with the illusion to play well, and then we will see, no? But I’m not going to be more motivated because I have six and I can win seven. I was not more motivated when I arrived here in 2005 than today. I was not more motivated in 2010 when I lost in 2009. The motivation always is the same.”

The Mallorcan opens his title defence against Simone Bolelli. Nadal is 2-0 against the Italian, having won both of their previous meetings on hard courts.

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* Frenchman Max Decugis won eight Roland Garros titles in 1903-04, '07-09, '12-14. But the French championships did not invite international players to compete at the tournament until 1925.

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