Rafael Nadal continued his quest for a record-equalling 20th Grand Slam title as he easily got through Jannick Sinner in the quarterfinals of French Open 2020. The king of clay competed in his 100th match at Roland Garros and the win was his 98th. Rafa holds a 98 percent win percentage at the French Open. And so super coach Patrick Mouratoglou spoke about Rafa’s preparations, training and shed some light on how the Spaniard has dominated so much.
In a recent conversation with Tennis Majors, Patrick revealed that not many players practice for marathon five-set matches, but Rafa Nadal practices 4-5 hours straight for such matches.
“It is difficult to do 4-5 hours of practice in a row. Some players do, like Rafa used to do a lot. Like blocks in the morning and even in the tournaments I remember him blocking much more time than other guys in the morning and having different guys coming is something I like to do also.”
What is needed to fight Rafael Nadal on clay?
Patrick also pointed out what is needed to fight against Rafa on clay. The coach did have a few pointers but conceded that it is ‘never easy’. Rafa on clay has had an air of invincibility around him.
“You have to be extremely aggressive and you have to keep that with not too many unforced errors for possibly three sets to win it and good chance is your not going to win all three so it might be four or five sets you have to maintain that level, that intensity, that risk-taking and be able to keep the ball inside the court for often which is never easy. Rafa brings a lot of balls back and makes you work all the time. “
Battling Rafa Nadal in five sets is difficult not only on clay but on every surface. On clay, Nadal doesn’t let opponents dominate for long and pounces on them quickly. On other surfaces, Nadal uses his tactical expertise to break the opponent and maintain his intensity.
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