Updated Sunday, May 30, 2021 –
He seeks his fourteenth title and thus surpass Federer’s 20 greats. “He has evolved based on what tennis demanded”, says Ferrero, champion in 2003. “I don’t see anyone who can beat him,” says Albert Costa, winner a year earlier.
When then, there was alternation. Before Rafael Nadal began in 2005 a despotic time whose end is difficult to see, the most fruitful was Gustavo Kuerten, which expired in 1997, 2000 and 2001. They preceded it, without going back to the sequence of the six titles of Bjorn Borg, Jim Courier, champion in 1991 and 1992, and Sergi Bruguera, winner in the next two editions. Nobody could imagine that a tennis player would appear capable of relativizing hegemonic periods that at the time deserved due consideration.
Before there was the entire Argentine army, specialists on the ground who could make things very difficult for you, but the truth is that Rafa has been around for a long time and has played against everyone. It is almost impossible that anyone can match what he has meant for Roland Garros. He is the best in history on this surface and he gets a lot out of it, he says in a telephone conversation from Paris Juan Carlos Ferrero placeholder image, champion of the tournament in 2003 and today coach of Carlos Alcaraz placeholder image, who at 18 years old appears as the most qualified replacement for the left-hander in Spanish tennis.
The presentation of the speaker In each of Nadal’s matches in Paris, she is a recurring lethal that almost leaves him breathless. In 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020, today’s number three in the world seeks in this edition, which starts tomorrow, the fourteenth title, which would also mean staying alone on the roof of the world and breaking the equalized to 20 grand with Roger Federer.
In our time tennis was more fragmented between surfaces. On grass the clear dominator was Pete Sampras, while in clay they sent tennis players like Bruguera or Courier. Now the speed of the ball has changed. They serve better and hit harder. All this has been to the detriment of the strategy, points out Albert Costa, director of the final stages of the Davis Cup, from the AVE back to Barcelona, after the presentation in Madrid of the next edition of the team tournament.
One hundred wins and only two losses
Nadal got before Djokovic in the final of Roland Garros on October 11, his 100th victory in an event where he has only lost two games: against Robin Soderling in the eighth of 2009, and against the Serbian, in the quarters of 2015, his annus horribilis. This time he starts as third seed and the draw suggests a hypothetical semi-final against Nole. I have seen Nadal perhaps a little less trained, due to the pandemic, but I don’t see anyone beating him at Roland Garros. The main rival is still Djokovic, but he lacks the Spanish’s conviction, Costa guesses.
Three decades after his first degree in Paris, the Spaniard, who turns 35 on the 3rd, rides on the back of time. Physically it has been improving. It sticks very hard to the ball. There is less season of dirt and it begins to play in a similar way on all surfaces, a little more to destroy than to build. People have evolved and Nadal himself has done it to adapt to what tennis demanded every year, says Ferrero.
The beginnings of this land tour hinted at a more open stage at the big date. Nadal lost in the Monte Carlo quarterfinals against Andrey Rublev and suffered in the first two rounds of the Count of God before taking the cup against Stefanos Tsitsipas saving a match ball. Rafa has won in Rome, and whoever wins the last tournament has a lot to say. In addition, he has done it against Djojkovic, says Costa. The southpaw took little time to react after falling against the German Alexander Zverev in rooms of the Mutua Madrid Open. The first two matches in the Foro Italico were not easy for him either, to the point that he had to neutralize two match points against Denis Shapovalov, but he grew as the tournament progressed and he won it for the tenth time by beating Nole in three sets in the final. .
He has won Roland Garros with a different balance in previous tournaments. At this point in his career, he does not need to appear like thunder in the Bois de Boulogne, but to preserve his physical condition and assert his ability and experience in a best-of-five-sets tournament, where opponents with weapons are hardly visible to knock him down. .
One of them could be Tsitsipas, champion in Monte Carlo and Lyon, who lifted him two adverse sets at the Australian Open and seems to have achieved the necessary point of strength and emotional stability. He has shown that he is mentally ready to fight, but I think Nadal is the clear favorite to win again, says Ferrero.
From a bird’s eye view, striking names appear on the hypothetical Spanish path, such as the young man Jannik Sinner, finalist in Miami and possible opponent in the second round, or that of Andrey Rublev, which could be measured in quarters. His status as the leading candidate for the title is difficult to argue with. Nadal, who on Friday inaugurated an effigy in his honor at Roland Garros, is back where he wants. If he is physically well, he can still win two or three more years, predicts Costa.
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