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Sport Nadal braced for 'most difficult ever Roland Garros'

13:35  26 september  2020
13:35  26 september  2020 Source:   msn.com

Roland-Garros. Guy Forget: "We still hope to have 5,000 spectators"

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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 conditions here are probably the most difficult conditions for me ever at Roland Garros for so many different facts," said the world number two.

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 conditions here are probably the most difficult conditions for me ever at Roland Garros for so many different facts," said the world number two.

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.

a group of people posing for a photo: Twelve of the best: Rafael Nadal poses with the French Open trophy after all of his title wins © - Twelve of the best: Rafael Nadal poses with the French Open trophy after all of his title wins

The 34-year-old needs one more Slam to equal Roger Federer's record of 20, but the great Spaniard's mood was as dark as the Paris skies as he addressed the media two days out from the start of the season's concluding major.

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Paris (AFP) - 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 conditions here are probably the most difficult conditions for me ever at Roland Garros for so many different facts,” said the world number

Nadal cut an unsettled figure at a pre-tournament press conference on Friday where he admitted the cold and damp conditions forced him to face his " most difficult ever Roland Garros ". He is also unhappy about using a new brand of ball. "For the health of the players

"The conditions here are probably the most difficult conditions for me ever at Roland Garros for so many different facts," said the world number two.

"The ball is completely different. It is super slow, heavy. It's also very cold, slow conditions.

"And of course, the preparation has been less than usual."

Nadal, who won his first French Open 15 years ago and has been beaten just twice in 95 matches at the tournament, arrives in a chilly and damp Paris worryingly under-cooked.

He skipped the defence of his US Open title for fears over the coronavirus and played just three matches on clay in Rome last week where he exited in the quarter-finals.

That was his first tournament since February and he now faces the prospect of playing a French Open pushed back four months from its traditional May-June slot.

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Federer will miss the French Open as he rehabs his injured knee while Nadal has played just three matches since February, a ring-rustiness evident in However, Djokovic refused to get carried away by his chances at Roland Garros ahead of Sunday’s start. “It’s Nadal ,” insisted the world number one

— Roland - Garros (@ rolandgarros ) September 25, 2020. “I think right now I just feel like against many , many players, many good players, I lose my level on clay courts. What I'm saying is that many guys who have the natural spin, I have to change my game, adapt my game, which makes me more

The early summer heat and quick conditions, in which he thrives, have been replaced by rain, wind, autumn chill and even a brief deluge of hailstones on Friday.

"The weather is so cold," said Mallorca-based Nadal who was quick to notice that his practice session on Friday took place when the temperature was at a chilly nine degrees (48F).

- New ball concerns -

Nadal said he was not happy that the tournament has switched to a new ball supplier this year.

He even believes it could pose physical problems for the players.

"I think it's not the right ball to play on a clay court," he said.

"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 number one Novak Djokovic in the final.

The Serb is one of only two men to have beaten the Spaniard in Paris in 15 years.

Thiem faces tough French Open start as Nadal, Serena pursue records

  Thiem faces tough French Open start as Nadal, Serena pursue records Newly-crowned US Open champion Dominic Thiem must confront his emotions and a testing first-round opponent at Roland Garros on Monday as Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams begin their assault on Grand Slam records. Thiem, the runner-up to Nadal here the past two years, captured his maiden Slam in New York and will try to become the only man in the Open era to win his first two majors at successive tournaments. He has been dealt a challenging draw though, with 2014 US Open Marin Cilic -- who Thiem beat on his title run at Flushing Meadows -- first up on the French Open clay.

Federer will miss the French Open as he rehabs his injured knee while Nadal has played just three matches since February, a ring-rustiness evident in his quarter-final exit in Rome. However, Djokovic refused to get carried away by his chances at Roland Garros ahead of Sunday's start.

2019 Roland Garros semi-finals, Paris, clay, Nadal d. Federer 63 64 62 Nadal and Federer met at a Grand Slam for the first time since the 2017 Australian Open final, in which Federer rallied from down a break in the fifth set to triumph. Nadal , at this point an 11-time Roland Garros champion, was once

However, Nadal still holds a 6-1 advantage over the 2016 champion, and 17-time major winner, at Roland Garros.

Djokovic arrives in Paris with a 31-1 record in 2020 -- his only 'loss' coming via default at the US Open.

He also claimed the Italian Open title at the weekend for a record 36th Masters crown, passing Nadal on the all-time list.

Djokovic hinted that this year could 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 at the same time it is true that I had a lot of success on this surface."

Nadal will begin his 2020 French Open campaign on Monday against Egor Gerasimov, the 83rd-ranked Belarusian.

Should he make it as far as the semi-finals, he is seeded to face Austria's Dominic Thiem who he has beaten in the last two Roland Garros finals.

However, Thiem arrives in the French capital buoyed by capturing his maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open.

dj/mw


Video: Players practice at Roland Garros ahead of French Open (Reuters)

Djokovic takes trip into Roland Garros unknown against Nadal fan .
Novak Djokovic admits he knows absolutely nothing about Daniel Galan, the world number 153 from Colombia who stands in his way of a place in the last 16 at Roland Garros on Saturday. That may be just as well as Galan, a 24-year-old lucky loser from qualifying, says he's not a "diehard follower" of the world number one. "I don't know much about him, to be honest," said Djokovic, the 2016 French Open champion who is chasing an 18th Grand Slam title."I have never seen him play, so I'll have to obviously look at his matches, the videos, and try to prepare myself with my team.

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