Rafa Nadal’s plan to win Roland Garros again
The first contact of Rafael Nadal In his return to competition, it was not as positive as he would have wanted, in competitive terms, but it did allow him to accumulate sensations in a process aimed at a main and almost sole objective. Roland Garros appears on the horizon as the big date for the world number two, twelve times champion in Paris, who will nevertheless face a stage never seen before in the French capital, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Neither the dates will be the usual ones, nor the protocol to follow, much more demanding in order to avoid any type of contagion that puts the celebration of the final picture in check. So things, Nadal returned to Mallorca last Sunday, after falling on Saturday night to Diego Schwartzman in a duel in which he did not find his best tennis, especially on service.
Under normal conditions Rafa could have chosen that path or have opted to continue a few more days at the Foro Italico to head directly to Roland Garros, but the strict rules required by the protocol of the Parisian tournament force him to appear with some advance, now well , three days before the start of the final frame, with a start date for Sunday 27. Thus, Nadal will be in Paris on Thursday, where he will do a brief quarantine waiting for the negative results of the two PCRs that players must pass before starting training.
A contact with the Roland Garros tennis complex can be expected, which would be possible for the twelve-time champion, but the rule says that only on match day once the event has started can you train on site. In all other cases, Nadal will have to train at the Jean Bouin facility, a center adjacent to the tournament venue and where, as a precaution and to avoid crowds, the players will train when they are not due to play in the next few hours.
Looking 100% on track
Once the tournament has started, Rafa will put adaptation to the background to the new situation at Roland Garros, to focus on the game. As he himself recognized before the start of the Masters 1000 in Rome, his competitive level is not yet the maximum due to his lack of tact with the parties, for a mere matter of rhythm, something that was noticed in the loss to Schwartzman after two extremely easy – and high level – clashes against Carreño and Lajovic.
The conformation of the Grand Slam matches, to five sets, forces a minimum of an hour and a half per game for Rafa, something that, taking into account that he will not find minimum seeds until the third, gives him a margin in the face of find that 100% essential to face the best in the decisive rounds and fight for his thirteenth Roland Garros.