For the many qualities that contributed to Rafael Nadal’s unprecedented superiority at the French Open – the return of a high-bouncing lefty forehand, reflex returns, cover-every-corner athleticism, endless energy and patience – there is an element that stands out all the rest. up.
The opponent beat the final two in Paris, according to Nadal, anyway.
“You go to the match knowing that your best tennis, even if you play it for over three, four hours, may not be enough. I mean, if you do that, you have little chance. Maybe, but you have to go to your limits at every single rally, every single point, “Dominic Thiem, who won the US Open two weeks ago, told the Associate Press.
“It is not easy to get into the match,” Thiem said. “And that’s the mental part, I guess.” When the main-draw competition at Roland Garros begins on Sunday, Thiem and every other player in the men’s section will be chasing Nadal as the 34-year-old player from Spain follows history.
If Nadal claims the 13th French Open Championship – raising his own record for the most singles singles trophy ever won by anyone at any major tennis tournament – he would, even more importantly, break Roger Federer’s record Huay, the man to collect his 20th Grand Slam title.
Nadal’s second place: four US Open, two Wimbledon, one Australian Open.
Recently asked about the possibility of catching the 39-year-old Federer, out for the rest of the season after a pair of operations on his right knee, Nadal expressed a feeling he has already spoken.
Climbing the Grand Slam list, Nadal said, “It’s not passion at all.” “I know you pay great attention to all of this,” he replied when the subject was raised at the Italian Open last week, Nadal’s first. Tournament since February due to coronovirus epidemic.
“Of course I would love to end my career with 25, but (it) will be something that probably won’t happen. I will keep fighting to create chances, and then when I finish my career, see, no? “He said. He said,” I just want to enjoy tennis. And that’s it. If I’m playing well, I know that I usually have my chances. If not, it’s impossible. That’s it. ” ” Of course, the game has another great game during this era, and like Nadal on Federer.
It would be No. 1-ranked Novak Djokovic, who won five of the seven big titles to win five of the total before being disqualified at the US Open.
In this most awkward of years, the Grand Slam season would draw to a close in France; The clay-court chief was postponed from May until now due to the Kleinovirus epidemic.
“Roland Garros is the last chance of this season. So we all know who the main favorite is: apparently, it’s Nadal. And whatever he has achieved there, perhaps losing a doubles match on that court in his entire career … is probably the most impressive record he has on any court, “Djokovic said.” So, yes, of course You will put him in front as a favorite to win. “For the record: Nadal won 93 out of 95 matches at the French Open and finished 21st in a row.
So what dominates him there? “He is an incredibly great tennis player. Probably on clay, slightly better than other surfaces, ”Thiem said. “He’s left-handed, which makes it very inconvenient. And then his forehand, topped on clay, it’s cruel to play.” Thiem takes note and hopes to emulate aspects of Nadal’s game.
So do others.
For example, in Rome, two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep and one of her coaches, Artem Apostu-Efremov, caught one of Nadal’s training sessions.
“We were looking at the way he hit the ball, the acceleration, the energy he has on the court and the way he practices 100%. It’s always an inspiration,” said Apostu-Effremov.
“This dedication is on the court and the focus is on the court,” he said, “This is something that, of course, can be transferred to Simona.” Nadal won by losing his third match in Italy, which is neither the ideal form nor the kind of prep work that Paris is accustomed to advancing.
Perhaps he regained consciousness, as he talked about the loss of returning to the “competition without great expectations”. Still, Nadal is unlike anyone else in the French Open, anywhere else.
“, Regardless of how he feels, I’m sure he will find a way out,” said Stephanos Tsitipas, the 2019 Australian Open semifinalist at number 5 in Paris. “He always finds a way, every year. The soil is its surface. I’m sure he is going to do well. “
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