Testing times ahead for Rafael Nadal according to coach Mouratoglou

Monday, 27 May 2024 at 13:15
Famous tennis coach Patrick Mouratoglou believes that the real test for the former world number Rafael Nadal will be to see whether he can last on the court for three hours in the French Open. The 37-year-old is often regarded as one of the Greatest players in the history of men’s tennis in the Open era, having won as many as 22 Grand Slam titles.
Fourteen of those titles came while playing at Roland Garros, which is why he is also known as the ‘King of Clay’. This year’s French Open is an even more special event as it will feature a champion like Nadal for the last time.
After consistent fitness struggles, the former world number one announced last year that the 2024 season would be his last at the highest level. However, because of inconsistent form this year, Nadal has not been granted a top-seed status, which is why he ended up having a tough draw in the first round against the reigning world number four, Germany’s Alexander Zverev.
Mouratoglou, who has worked as a coach with several top tennis stars, including former world number one Serena Williams, was recently quoted in a report in which he suggested that facing a player like Zverev is a favourable draw for Nadal but that his biggest test will be to ensure that he will last three hours or more on the court.
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Rafael Nadal will face Germany's Alexander Zverev in the first-round of the French Open on Monday. 
“I think the match-up against Sascha is good for Rafa,” he said. “Sascha is an incredible player, he’s just won Rome, so he’s going to be very tough, but he’s a player that stays quite far behind the baseline. He doesn’t change rhythm that much. Where Rafa can be beatable is where you take time away from him, which Hurkacz did incredibly well in Rome.
“I don’t think Sascha has the game to do that type of thing. He’s hitting the ball super well, doesn’t miss, covers the court really well. The only real question for me is whether Rafa will be able to stay long on that court, and perform for three hours, because I don’t think he’ll be able to win before three hours. Will he keep his intensity for three hours? Will he be able to do that? For sure that Sascha can, but I don’t know if he [Nadal] can.”

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