It’s eleven o’clock in the morning in Paris, and the accesses to track 4 of training are already collapsed. The silent rally that takes place in the adjoining space, where Roger Federer is tuned before his premiere, contrasts with the crunches of Rafael Nadal’s string.
Each Balear ball bursts with no restraint, as if the match against the Serbian Dusan Lajovic was official and as if he needed the time to pass faster to open fire as soon as possible. So much impetus is placed on the thing that when you pick up a towel, you inadvertently pull an ambient microphone that stops a few centimeters from your face. “Everything is perfect”, responds after the session his coach, Carlos Moyà, when asked about how the alien has landed in Paris, defined thus the Balearic by various French daily.
Why Nadal got to lose?
“I think it arrives in good condition. It remains to be confirmed in the matches, but the sensations are good. I think that these four days of training here could not have been better, so I’m happy, “continues the coach, very satisfied because a month ago he saw the thing in a very different way, with Nadal psychically and without spark on the track. “Tennis and sports are what they have, that in a couple of weeks, if you put on a good attitude and try to get it out there, they always offer you some way to do it. He, in that aspect, is a privileged one and he has achieved it “, explains Moyà the day before the premiere (at 3pm, Eurosport) against the German Yannick Hanfmann.
Despite the downturn experienced in the transit from Monte Carlo to Rome, Nadal bursts again as the big favorite, as the man to beat and back of a wild statistics: in 88 games at Roland Garros, he has only lost twice -by Robin Soderling in 2009 and against Novak Djokovic in 2015- and has been crowned 11 times. “When I played, Guga [Kuerten] happened and we thought it was something incredible, and Borg’s with six of us we saw him out of this world … But then the 11 of him came and you feel that it is something unmatched. You see them from the inside and maybe you take away a little bit of importance, but if you see them from outside, the perspective is very different, “Moya appreciates.
Next, the technician makes reference to the descent of the champion in the first seasons of the tour on clay. “Because of the injuries, Rafa got to lose a little the illusion and the desire”, he introduces, “so to recover that part was the fundamental thing, more than the game. Two weeks before he had played at a good level in Indian Wells and two months before he had finished in Australia, and that is not forgotten overnight, right? In this aspect, I think that the head is much more important and that was the concern of all, “explains exnúmero one, which points to the past April 24 as the key date:” After the game against Mayer, in Barcelona. That was the turning point. “
That afternoon, Nadal spent almost three hours to overcome the Argentine in the Godó arena and admitted that physical problems had affected him mentally. So, did Moya come to think of a descent without return? “You always trust that it is Rafa and that he is on the ground … But the danger is there, and you see that the tournaments are happening and he has not quite found himself well … In the end, he has not missed three semifinals before winning in Rome, something that for any player would be spectacular, but with him it knows little … But yes, of course you fear that maybe he does not have that confidence that he can win the matches and that it could affect him, of course yes. This is his time, the two months he is waiting for during the year! “
Overcome the pothole, Nadal is again considered another year as a colossus practically unapproachable, although the opposition has a name. “Djokovic is his biggest opponent on clay, with Thiem. He is a rival with the one who is there in number of Grand Slams, who has managed to win in the end … So psychologically it was important a victory like the Foro Italico, in the Rafa field. Having achieved it may have been a plus, “says Moyà, who appreciates the seemingly friendly takeoff that the raffle drew.
“This is a marathon and you have to get as cool as possible to the last 10 kilometers; If you suffer in the first, surely the last ones are going to be too long … Overcome difficulties? It’s fine too, but the longer they show up, the better. In the 11 that Rafa has won, there has been everything: with difficulties at the beginning, easy from the beginning, with difficulties at the end … He is already hardened in overcoming adversities, so I prioritize that he arrives fresh and well on his head,” affirms before concluding the dialogue: “We know what has happened, the difficulties it has had, and that is why we give much credit to how it has turned the situation around and how it has come here.”