Rafa Roundup: Toni Nadal thinks Rafa can win French Open this year

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He is set to open his campaign at this ATP World Tour 500 clay-court tournament against either Paolo Lorenzi or Nicolas Almagro. Should it be former World No. 9 Almagro, Nadal is only too aware of the challenge the former Barcelona finalists poses. “Almagro is a great player and always a dangerous opponent,” said Nadal in a press conference. “I have to try to find my way, but it will be difficult against Nico.

The Mallorcan, who reached the semi-finals in Monte Carlo, is satisfied with his start to the European clay court season and happy to be in Barcelona, playing a tournament “he loves.”

The clay specialist lost in the semifinals of the Monte Carlo Masters to Novak Djokovic on Saturday, but says that competition had been the most positive week of the year so far and the match had given him ”confidence and security.” Nadal says Barcelona is too important to him to be considered simply as training for Paris.

Cuando vuelves tras año tan accidentado como el mío, quieres ganar desde el primer momento. Y eso te genera ansiedad. No funciona así. Hay un proceso de recuperación que es inevitable. En Montecarlo me he sentido bien y tranquilo. Tenísticamente, estoy bastante mejor que hace unas semanas. El resto ya se verá”.

I believe, I really believe, that if we continue as we are, that Rafael´s level is good enough to win Roland Garros“, Toni Nadal told Spanish TV station Canal +. “Rafael will be fit enough to battle for it, because of the level I’ve been watching him play at. The only thing missing is to be able to keep up that level of play over a long time… I think he can very definitely compete for Roland Garros. That court is good to us”, added Toni Nadal.

What do the years 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011 have in common for Rafael Nadal? They are years he won Roland Garros. They are also years he has played in a Wimbledon final. And they are also the years he prepared for The Championships at The Queen’s Club. Four years after his last significant chance at the Wimbledon title, Nadal will once again compete at Queen’s in the build-up to Wimbledon. And before that, at Stuttgart too, as the new three-week gap welcomes the German event to the grass court calendar for the first time.

Djokovic has to win the French before we can say we have a new ‘King of Clay’ and the best player always wins in a three out of five set match so until Djokovic does that Rafa is still the king. “Nadal will go deep in Barcelona and don’t be surprised if he wins that event and then after that you’re going to have Rome and Madrid, so he’s going to build nicely. … “All those Rafa fans out there – don’t worry – he’s getting better week in, week out.”

Is Rafa back? … He also managed, in a very Rafa like manner, to battle through a duo of gruelling three-set matches with John Isner and David Ferrer last week. So questions will still hang over Nadal’s potential, but Monte Carlo certainly proved he is back on the right dirt track. 

What’s so tough about Nadal on clay? When you’re at the mercy of Nadal’s forehand and offensive repertoire, there’s not much you can do. When you finally begin to play offense, there’s only so much you can do, before you’re suddenly playing defense again, or have lost the point.

Rafael Nadal and Kei Nishikori pose in front of the Sant Pau Recinte Modernista in Barcelona 2015
Photo via Barcelona Open

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6 comments

  1. I know Rafa can win the French Open this year. I believe in him. I will be thrilled to see him bite the big prize in Paris. If he remains feeling great in body and in mind, and believing in himself then this will surely happen. God bless you and buene suerte Rafa. Love, Marylynn

  2. Vamos Rafa!!! You are the ultimate champion, I have started watching tennis once you started playing and now my son has joined his tennis classes inspired only by you…
    We still believe you are the ultimate champion and only you can halt the winning run of Djokovic… its tuff but nothing is impossible… Have faith in you and you can reach the pinnacle once again very soon…

  3. We all hope that Rafa wins 10th Roland Garros but as he said himself the No. 1 is in great shape and has never suffered serious bessures.
    It will be hard but we all believe in RAFA vamoooooos

  4. I’m with Uncle Toni! I am still amazed how any player can win a GS 9X (almost in a row as well) at the same venue. To me, 3 sets out of 5 is the ultimate test of tennis supremacy!
    Vamos Rafa and Uncle Toni!

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