- Moya’s Takeaways After Nadal’s SF Win | ATP World Tour
This was the ideal result we were looking for. Defeating Del Potro in this manner proves that things have come together and the devised plan is working. Between today’s result and the win over Diego, I’m pleased. The last six sets he has played here are the finest he has played so far.
By now, you get the picture. As Rafael Nadal prepares to return serve, he’s so far back beyond the baseline that he’s almost out of the camera shot. At times, perhaps even into a different area code.
But Nadal summons the strength to return hard and high, pushing his opponents back. By the time they connect with their second shot, Nadal has moved forward onto the baseline ready to attack.
It’s a tactic Nadal has used more and more over the past year, mostly on clay and here at Roland Garros.
We know Thiem can take the rallies to Rafa on clay. But can he push him around in Chatrier, in the Roland Garros final, over best-of-five sets? Thiem says that all of those factors will make this match a very different animal from the ones he won over Rafa in other places, and will make Nadal the obvious favorite.
He’s right. This is a match we want to see, and one that could be very competitive and entertaining. But it’s also one that can only be predicted one way. The most important stat has nothing to do with Thiem; it has to do with Rafa’s record in French Open finals. He’s 10-0. Winner: Nadal
- Nadal On Record Roland Garros Final: ‘Not A Routine’ | ATP World Tour
“Being in a final here is something I should rejoice about and be happy about. It may sound easy and logical, but I don’t want it to be. It’s not a routine. I don’t want anyone to think that it’s a routine,” Nadal said. “It’s a day that I should rejoice about, enjoy. And from tomorrow on, I will do what I have to do to get ready for Sunday.”
- Rafael Nadal aiming to keep French Open heir apparent Dominic Thiem at arm’s length for another year | Telegraph
On a completely different topic, Nadal entered the equal prize-money debate with an opinion that is bound to prove controversial. Speaking to a weekly Italian women’s magazine called IO Donna, Nadal said: “It’s a comparison we shouldn’t even make. Female models earn more than male models and nobody says anything. Why? Because they have a larger following. In tennis too, who gathers a larger audience earns more.”
“My body is about 40 years old, but I’m not really focusing on that,” Nadal explained. “I’m just playing tennis. I’m not really interested by all these things, and I don’t think that – you can’t really know the reality of how old your body is.”
“I’m 32, and I’m how I am. I’m happy. I accept my age,” added Nadal. “I try to adapt to all the changes that the body is going through over the years. There are things that are lost and there are other things that are gained, and I’m trying to improve all the time. That’s it. I’m happy for Cristiano that he’s 23, his body is 23.”
“It is almost impossible to beat Rafa. He’s too strong. He’s improving his backhand a lot. That’s why he’s the No 1 and beating all the guys,” said Del Potro.
“He looks fresh. He is healthy. And the strength that he has and the mentality – everything is perfect, works perfect for him playing on clay.”