The way to him thirteenth Roland Garros of Roland GarrosRafael Nadalit will not go through the Parisian spring, as is customary, which will force the Spanish tennis player who has reigned on clay for the last three decades to face a new challenge, win your favorite tournament in the fall.
Displaced by the pandemic, the clay court Grand Slam will be played in conditions of extreme sanitary surveillance, and with a worryingly worsening situation in France, which has forced the Government to increase security measures.
Only 1,000 viewers Each day they will be able to enter an enclosure that will not show the bustle of previous occasions. It will be a unique edition, in which autumn rains will put the newly built retractable roof to the test from the center court, which in any case will not be sheltered from low temperatures.
In search of his twentieth Grand Slam, which would match him with the Swiss Roger Federer, Nadal will have to test his legendary ability to adapt, to reinvent himself to win, the same recipe that has allowed him to develop an excellent track record even where he was not expected.
Until now, Roland Garros has been his kingdom, tamed with an iron fist, with only two defeats conceded on its tracks. A tournament that seems to control every detail, a scheme that this year will have to build from scratch to maintain its hegemony on clay.
As if all the changes imposed by COVID-19 were few, the organizers have introduced another, some different balls, which sting less, and that will also require a challenge of adaptation to the Mallorcan.
Nadal has no records left to beat in Roland GarrosBut the new situation may help you find additional motivation.
The defeat in Rome against Argentine Diego Schwartzman made it clear that it won’t be a ride. For the first time, Nadal disembarks this year in the Grand Slam of earth without any tournament in his record on that surface.
The irregular season it has disturbed the preparation of all tennis players and, in the case of Nadal, his traditional planning that always led to Paris.
Against the Spanish, the Serbian Novak Djokovic, which will keep the number 1 in the world no matter what in this fortnight, he appears as his main rival. His victory in Rome once again positions him as the complete tennis player that he is, with the pending issue of snatching the clay-court Grand Slam from Nadal in a year in which the Spanish is in good condition.
It would be the second Musketeers’ Cup for the Serbian, the great who has celebrated the fewest times, a thorn in his ambition that, once again, he will seek to remove this year. To achieve it, would add 18 grand and would stay one of Nadal.
Last year, Djokovic ran into Austrian Dominic Thiem, who thus played his second consecutive final against Nadal, a match that this year cannot be repeated because their paths cross in the semifinals.
Thiem knocks on the door
The recent winner of the US Open proved in New York that he is the most serious contender to challenge the dominance of the two giants.
Russian Daniil Medvedev, in a very irregular season, has a chance to return to last year’s level in Roland Garros.
It is one of the banners of the new generation that, as every year, will knock on the door of a tournament that, for now, when it has not won Nadal it has fallen into the hands of veteran rivals.
Among the young people is the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, who arrives with the tailwind of his good tournament in Hamburg; the German Alexander Zverev, encouraged by his recent finale in New York; or italian Matteo Berrettini. All of them aspire to break precocity records.