- Will the Real Nadal Stand Up, S’il Vous Plaît? (via wsj.com)
Rafael Nadal is the best clay-court tennis player ever. He has won the French Open nine times. Nine times! No other man in the history of the sport has won a single Grand Slam title more than seven times. Not Roger Federer, not Pete Sampras, not Rod Laver. … Yes, Nadal has looked worse than ever this spring. But Paris is different. The courts play a little faster, the balls have more bounce. The place is built for Nadal.
- French Open: Seven things you need to know (via USA Today)
- Rafael Nadal Is 80 Percent Of What He Used To Be (via fivethirtyeight.com)
Each method tells a similar but slightly different story: Nadal is somewhere between 17 percent and 29 percent worse than he was at his best, a level he was at or near in 2012. … Nadal can win his 10th French Open next month. But if he keeps playing like he has been, he probably won’t.
- Expect Nadal to step it up in Paris, says McEnroe (via abs-cbnnews.com)
McEnroe, however, thinks it is foolhardy to dismiss the Mallorcan as a fading force and fully expects him to find his ‘A game’ in the days ahead. … “I guess by Madrid or Rome he would at least liked to have won one or two but it’s hard not to think that he’s gonna take it up to another level (at the French) unless there’s physically something wrong with him.”
- Not So Lonely at the Top (Of the Draw) (via tennis.com)
In past years, Rafa has used these two weeks on the terre battue to build momentum, to the point where he made himself appear unstoppable by the time he played Djokovic. In 2012 and 2014, Nadal peaked with blowout semifinal wins, and went on to beat the Serb in four sets in the final. This time around, Nadal will have two fewer rounds, and four fewer days, to become the King of Clay again.
“Not nice Maria,” joked Toni Nadal in a French radio interview here on Friday. Or maybe Uncle Toni wasn’t joking. As defending women’s champion at the French Open, Maria Sharapova had the honors of pulling the names out of the trophy for the draw of this year’s men’s tournament. The result of her handiwork? Toni’s nephew Rafael Nadal, the nine-time French Open champion, is in the same quarter of the draw as Novak Djokovic…
Mary Joe Fernandez: “If he loses, it will be a shock to everybody just because it hasn’t happened in a very long time. He has to lose at the French at some point. I’m confident he’ll come back again. He’s an amazing champion. He works extremely hard. He still has a great amount of passion for the game. There’s no reason to write him off if he doesn’t win the French.”
- Blues on Red Clay (via tennis.com)
Nadal is healthy—which may be the most important point of all—he’s played some excellent matches this year, and he’s accomplished so much on Court Philippe Chatrier that he’s entitled to feel like he’s got nothing to prove.
AUDIO: Corretja – Nadal “Doesn’t Need to Prove Anything” (via BBC) ”
“At this stage of his career, Rafa doesn’t need to prove to anyone that he can win the French Open again.” Former Spain Davies Cup captain Alex Corretja says although Rafael Nadal isn’t in his best form, all others “should be concerned, because he has been unbeatable on that court,” in Paris. The two-time French Open finalist told Sportsworld’s Lee James that the tournament may be decided in the quarter finals.
- Nadal, Sharapova Attend 2015 Roland Garros Player Party (via Roland Garros)
- Rafa Nadal ‘still missing something’ ahead of French Open (via Eurosport)
- Get Ready For RG: Nadal looking to make it 10 (via Eurosport)
- Nadal, a decade of Roland Garros episode 3 (via Roland Garros)
- Rafael Nadal’s chances of winning 10th French Open title (via ESPN)
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