Reigning French Open champion Rafael Nadal won his 98th Roland Garros match as he dispatched 19-year-old Jannik Sinner in the quarterfinals of French Open 2020. The young and talented Italian star did trouble Nadal in the opening set but the Spaniard’s tactical play helped him.
Nadal’s quarterfinal match had some tough conditions. It began much later at night thanks to the marathon match between Dominic Thiem and Diego Schwartzman. Considering that the conditions at French Open 2020 were already unsuitable for Nadal, the temperature dropping to 13 degrees celsius didn’t really help matters.
Serena Williams‘ coach Patrick Mouratoglou spoke about the conditions affecting Nadal’s game. He pointed out that the French Open’s center court, Court Philippe Chatrier, is a much better court for Rafa.
Why does Patrick Mouratoglou think Court Philippe Chatrier is the best for Rafael Nadal?
“First of all, I think it is important to say this Center Court plays much different from other courts and I think it is a good court for Rafa because the bounce is high, the court is fast so that is one thing that we need to keep in mind,” Patrick said in a conversation with tennis majors.
With the cooler conditions and heavier Wilson balls in play, the French Open has become slower, and the bounce is lower. These conditions aren’t Rafa’s favorite.
Reviewing Nadal’s match against Sinner, Mouratoglou said that it was a solid performance from Nadal in a crunch game. “I think Rafa’s performance was really very solid because it was a high-pressure match. When you play Rafa on the Clay which is the ultimate challenge you have to be extremely aggressive and you have to keep that with not too many unforced errors.
“But I think that Rafa showed he is ready. And that finally, this center Court plays really ok for him and so he is definitely the big favorite.”
Nadal hasn’t been tested in these conditions consistently. Even though Sinner troubled him in the opening set, he couldn’t continue the charge afterward.
Rafa plays Diego Schwartzman next in the semifinals, who showed great consistency against Thiem in his quarterfinal match. The Argentine has thrived in these heavier conditions and can certainly pose a challenge to Rafa.
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