Rafael Nadal admitted Friday that he faces his “most difficult ever Roland Garros” as he prepares for an assault on a 13th French Open title. The 34-year-old wants yet one more Slam to equal Roger Federer’s file of 20, however the nice Spaniard’s temper was as darkish because the Paris skies as he addressed the media two days out from the beginning of the season’s concluding main. “The conditions here are probably the most difficult conditions for me ever at Roland Garros for so many different facts,” stated the world quantity two. “The ball is totally completely different. It is tremendous gradual, heavy. It’s additionally very chilly, gradual circumstances.
“And of course, the preparation has been less than usual.”
Nadal, who gained his first French Open 15 years in the past and has been overwhelmed simply twice in 95 matches on the event, arrives in a cold and damp Paris worryingly under-cooked.
He skipped the defence of his US Open title for fears over the coronavirus and performed simply three matches on clay in Rome final week the place he exited within the quarter-finals.
That was his first event since February and he now faces the prospect of enjoying a French Open pushed again 4 months from its conventional May-June slot.
The early summer time warmth and fast circumstances, by which he thrives, have been changed by rain, wind, autumn chill and even a short deluge of hailstones on Friday.
“The weather is so cold,” stated Mallorca-based Nadal who was fast to note that his apply session on Friday befell when the temperature was at a cold 9 levels (48F).
– New ball considerations –
Nadal stated he was not joyful that the event has switched to a brand new ball provider this 12 months.
He even believes it may pose bodily issues for the gamers.
“I think it’s not the right ball to play on a clay court,” he stated.
“I really believe that the organisation needs to take a look at that for the next couple of years, for the health of the players, too, because the ball is super heavy and becomes dangerous for the elbow and for the shoulders.”
Nadal is seeded to face world primary Novak Djokovic within the remaining.
The Serb is one in all solely two males to have overwhelmed the Spaniard in Paris in 15 years.
However, Nadal nonetheless holds a 6-1 benefit over the 2016 champion, and 17-time main winner, at Roland Garros.
Djokovic arrives in Paris with a 31-1 file in 2020 — his solely ‘loss’ coming through default on the US Open.
He additionally claimed the Italian Open title on the weekend for a file 36th Masters crown, passing Nadal on the all-time checklist.
Djokovic hinted that this 12 months may see Nadal dethroned as champion at Roland Garros.
“Yeah, 100% true,” admitted Nadal. “I always have been beatable on clay. He beat me a lot of times.
“But on the identical time it’s true that I had lots of success on this floor.”
Nadal will begin his 2020 French Open campaign on Monday against Egor Gerasimov, the 83rd-ranked Belarusian.
Should he make it so far as the semi-finals, he’s seeded to face Austria’s Dominic Thiem who he has overwhelmed within the final two Roland Garros finals.
However, Thiem arrives within the French capital buoyed by capturing his maiden Grand Slam title on the US Open.
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