Thirteen-time Roland-Garros champion Rafael Nadal was given a huge test of his French Open credentials, as Felix Auger-Aliassime pushed him to the limit before the Spanish superstar prevailed in five brilliant sets on Court Philippe-Chatrier.
Rafa speaks with Tennis Channel following his fourth round win at the 2022 French Open:
“I always have in my mind that every time that I go out here is my last match in my tennis career on this amazing court so I just try to fight and enjoy as much as I can.”
The match between Nadal and FAA was too close for comfort, but the fact of the matter is that FAA is no push over now on any surface including RG’s Terre Battue. It was heartening to observe a slight change of tactics that Nadal didn’t waste any opportunity in rushing to the nets and tried to play from inside the court as much as possible. This was missing from his game when he lost to Djokovic last year at RG. Although somewhat underrated for his volleys and overhead smashes at the net, I consider Nadal plays volleys and overhead smashes better than most.
A matter of concern was Nadal’s poor conversion of break-points yesterday; he let FAA off the hook several times when FAA was facing double and triple consecutive break points.
Yesterday, Nadal charged at the net 45 times (out of a total of 287 points) and won 69% points when he attacked the nets against FAA. In a sharp contrast, he had charged at the net only 15 times (out of a total of 266 points) against Djokovic last year, and mostly played from the baseline. In my humble opinion, if his body holds and he persistently tries to take charge by moving inside the court (and at the net) at any given opportunity while hitting deep returns, he would prevail against Djokovic. Outlasting and defeating Djokovic mainly from the baseline is extremely difficult on any surface including clay. Nadal’s topspin high balls that land deep in the opponent’s court and rise above the shoulder height are so much effective; but hitting many topspin short balls landing only in the middle of his opponent’s court will always be a recipe for disaster like last year and in 2015 against Djokovic, and in 2009 against Robin Soderling.
Hope you don’t retire soon Rafa. Play less – choose your matches carefully! Pleeeease. Sorry, I’m being so selfish. Tennis will never be the same without you!!!!
All the best for your next match. Keep fit!
Sooo wish for you to beat Novak!!
Hé is talking way too much about his foot what hé was saving had to fo with downplaying his chances agsinst nole.
I notice that Rafa keeps mentioning that he doesn’t know if this will be his last match at Roland Garros etc. I wonder if it means that thoughts of retirement are becoming more common. I know he loves the game and he is an amazing competitor, but I guess it will depend on how chronic the foot pain becomes. I hope he plays for a few more years, but it makes me appreciate it every time I get to watch him play!!!
I agree. I have similar thoughts. It will be up to Rafa to decide when it’s time to retire
Rafa, You are a brilliant tennis player and an incredible delight to watch. You are also a wonderful human and it is people like you that give me hope for this planet. Thank you for this. Mary Smith Morton
Well done Rafa, onwards to the next round, with you all the way, Vamos 💕
So happy for Rafa, keep it up❤️
Unfair Unfair Unfair … Privilege’s to Mr Nadal. Unbelievable and disgraceful the time he is allowed between services … pick up his towel , dry his face , place his towel the same way Why because he is tired , needs more time to recover (his breathing) cause his getting older. Does all of that while Félix is waiting and waiting … Félix is energized and his mind is ready … no wonder that is disturbing and lack of caring for his opponent … Mr Nadal only cares about him. When he’s ready to serve, when it suits him well let’s serve There are Mr Nadal’s rules and all the others. Félix is the winner, yes.
If your not a professional tennis player then u don’t know what your talking about!
Some people are just complainers.
What are you doing here?
Are you a mole, for Nole?
Or haven’t you read the site’s name, RAFAEL NADAL FANS.
Why are you even on this site!!
hey why u complain this is Rafa sites go
Home get sleep
Go away, you hater, Nicole! You don’t deserve to be here because you surely jest with your atrocious comments! This is a Rafa Nadal fan site!
Players are allowed 25 seconds between points. You play at the server’s pace. I’m not sure why you are ranting. Rafa plays by the rules.
Oh my…you sound like Shapo after he lost to Rafa at The Australian Open. Squabbling over a few seconds! The only difference is Felix didn’t complain & you shouldn’t either… especially here on Rafa’s fan site!
Congrats on the win. As long as you are fighting, we are here💪No one can come back with more fire❤️🔥we fight another day🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥stay healthy👏👏👏🤛👍❤️
I absolutely detest Jon Wertheim. He always denigrates Rafa especially when Novak or Carlos are mentioned. I know that’s not Rafas nature to be abrupt with people like him, but I truly hope he is ready to face djokovic and especially after his performance in the 5th set and let his tennis do his talking.
I agree. I think Rafa handled it beautifully.