Roger Federer was in a contented mood after he made it through to the second round of the Halle Open with a straight-sets win over John Millman.
The Swiss top seed and 20-time grand slam champion required a tie-break to prevail in the first set against the Australian, before sealing an eventual 7-6 (1) 6-3 victory.
This triumph heralded the start of the grass-court season for the 37-year-old, which he hopes will end with another Wimbledon victory.
See his thoughts about his form above:
Rafael Nadal took satisfaction from the journey not just the destination after overcoming a difficult period to lift his 12th title at the French Open.
It was a repeat of last year’s final and the Spaniard dropped a set this time but hit back brutally to defeat Dominic Thiem 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 and win a 12th French Open title.
Nadal now stands on his own as the most successful singles player, male or female, at a single grand slam having moved clear of the 11 titles won by Margaret Court at the Australian Open.
But what appeared routine from the outside, the 33-year-old losing just two sets all tournament, felt far from that way inside Nadal’s camp.
Coach Carlos Moya said: “It’s been the toughest period for sure since I’m there. It was really hard. He really had to push himself to the limit to be back on the court, to practise, to be motivated.
“He had an unbelievable attitude in those bad moments and that’s what took him here today.
“Hats off to what he’s done this month and a half because it’s easy to play well when all the things are working well but what he’s been through this last couple of months is showing what a competitor he is and mentally that he’s a genius.”
Nadal missed the end of last season because of knee trouble and then a foot operation and he was forced onto the sidelines again after Indian Wells in March when his knees gave him further problems.
“After Indian Wells, mentally I was down,” he said. “It’s tough when you receive one (punch), another, and then sometimes you are groggy.”
Nadal pinpointed a first-round victory over Leonardo Mayer at the Barcelona Open in April, where he had to come back from a set down, as the turning point.
He said: “After the first round in Barcelona, I was able to stay alone for a couple of hours in the room and think about what was going on, what I needed to do.
“One possibility was to stop for a while and recover my body. And the other was to change drastically my attitude and my mentality. Finally I think I was able to change and was able to fight back for every small improvement. And since that match things have been improving every single day until today.
“Of course to have this trophy with me means a lot. But the personal satisfaction of changing the dynamic is the thing that I am more satisfied with.”
Nadal now has 18 slam titles overall, meaning for the first time he has closed to within two of his great rival Roger Federer, whose all-time men’s record of 20 titles appears increasingly within reach for either Nadal or Djokovic.
“It’s a motivation, but it’s not my obsession,” said Nadal. “You can’t be frustrated all the time because the neighbour has a bigger house than you or a bigger TV or better garden. That’s not the way that I see life.”
Andy Murray is confident he can return to competitive tennis and has hinted at a doubles spot at Wimbledon.
The two-time Wimbledon champion announced plans to retire after this year’s championship due to injury in January, expressing doubt as to whether he would even make it to the All England Club.
Murray has all but ruled out an appearance in the singles draw, nearly four months after surgery on a career-threatening hip problem, but he could return to SW19 by playing doubles.
He told The Times: “I would say there is very little chance I would play singles during the grass (season).
“Potentially doubles, but I’m not trying to get ready for singles just now.
“The thing I said before was that, if I wasn’t feeling good, there was more chance that I would play and then stop after Wimbledon.
“Whereas if it’s feeling good, it makes a bit more sense to give it time to make sure that it’s as good as possible before I try to play singles on it.
“Because I’ve only just started moving now, to get ready for the grass singles-wise I would have to be doing that for two and a half to three weeks before Queen’s, and that would only give me five or six days of building up to start running properly. It’s not enough time.”
Murray has upped his recovery and has been practising with Australian Nick Kyrgios on a clay court at Wimbledon.
He was also encouraged by the recovery of Bob Bryan, the American doubles player who had the same surgery in August aged 40.
“I don’t have pain,” Murray said. “I just need to see how good the hip can get really. I know from seeing what Bob Bryan has done that for doubles it will be absolutely fine.
“I will need to see from there how it would work singles-wise. It has been really good so far.
“I’m playing lots of golf. I don’t have any pain walking round the course and swinging clubs. When I’m on the court hitting, it has been perfect.
“If I continue to feel good, then I will obviously give it a shot in singles and see what happens. Whereas in doubles I am pretty certain I will be able to play, just based on having an example to look at.”