- Roland Garros Preview: Nadal Pursues Ninth Title (via ATP World Tour)
World No. 1 Nadal attempts to win his ninth Roland Garros title in 10 years as he comes in with a 59-1 career record. Nadal’s only loss came on May 31, 2009 to Robin Soderling in the 4R. He is trying to become the first player to win five consecutive titles at Roland Garros. He’s won four in a row from 2005-08 and ’10-13. Bjorn Borg also won four consecutive titles from 1978-81.
- Nadal, Djokovic clear leaders among men’s contenders (via Roland Garros)
Losses in best-of-three-set matches in lead-up events count for little at the best of times in the scheme of Grand Slam play, but even less so when it comes time to battle it out in gruelling best-of-five-set matches on clay. Nadal has proven this here before.
- Is This Nadal’s Last Tango in Paris? (via WSJ)
“Everyone expects a lot from him, and every year, believe me it is not easy to give yourself a challenge, a reason,” said Francis Roig, who works with Nadal as a part-time coach, a second set of eyes to back up Nadal’s mastermind uncle, Toni. Roig watched the action in Rome on television and liked what he saw. Nadal won three close matches. He played aggressively. He turned a 3-1 deficit against Djokovic in the third set into a 3-3 tie, even though he went on to lose the last three games. “He still believed he could do something,” Roig said. “At the end of the match, he had no more energy to play the level that Novak pushed him to play.”
Rafael Nadal, who practiced at Roland Garros on Thursday, hopes the court conditions improve by the time the tournament starts. “Center court was a little bit different. I think they make the court new, so it’s like the clay [needs to] get a little bit more fixed. It was moving around a little bit too much. But there remain a few days and probably they can fix it. They are specialists, no?”
- Nadal, en tierra de especialistas (via El Pais)
Durante casi un decenio, nadie ha interpretado mejor esas exigencias que Nadal, que a unos días de cumplir los 28 años se enfrenta a quince jornadas de fuego: ganar un torneo que justifica toda una temporada o ceder la corona y reencontrarse con las dudas.
- Feet Of Clay (via sportsonearth.com)
It’s the question on everyone’s mind this time of year: Will Rafael Nadal win the French Open again? Usually, there’s not much of a discussion to have. Of course he will. After all, he’s won eight of the last nine French Open titles and is the best clay-court player of all time. However, over the past two months this question has transitioned from rhetorical to debatable.
- Rafael Nadal practicing in the rain at Roland Garros
- Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams Attend Nike event in Paris