Defending Champion Rafael Nadal left the Philippe Chatrier court this Tuesday (actually already Wednesday) pretty close to 1:30 am in Paris. Surprisingly, after beating 19-year-old Italian Jannik Sinner in the quarter-finals,7-6, 6-4 and 6-1, in what was, by far, the French capital’s most significant test to date.
On a hot summer day in Paris, Rafael Nadal’s primary weapon is to make the ball leap high up to his opponent’s backhand with vicious spin. It’s autumn now in the northern hemisphere, where Roland Garros’ weather is cold and hot, so World No. 2 is strategically moving gears to another trusted weapon in its arsenal: widening the rally.
“Tennis Is Not Football”: Rafael Nadal
The 34-year-old Spaniard did not complain about the match’s time, but about the Paris cold, about 13 degrees. “The problem is not the hours we leave the court, considering that we have two days without meetings. The problem for me is cold. It’s too cold to play tennis.
I know that in football, players compete with similar or worse conditions, but tennis is not football. We have been standing still for long, and it is dangerous for the body to play with this cold.” he said, talking about the cold weather condition at a press conference that began in Paris after two in the morning.
Nadal also fired at the fact that five meetings were scheduled for the central court by the organization. The last one was Yours. “When I saw the program, I thought it was strange, and I didn’t understand the decision. When you schedule five meetings for Chatrier, you run the risk that some of them will belong. And then, this will happen. And so it was. It was bad luck, but you were taking that risk.”
As seen in previous years, Nadal can very well struggle to harm opponents with spin and height. Besides, because of the colder temperatures and with the duration of the rallies being considerably longer, Nadal is merely swapping one arm for another.