If Rafael Nadal can get past that tricky first week at Roland Garros, then the following week could see the dangerous Nadal of old.
Everything is not well with Rafael Nadal. It’s been a rather strange season so far for the king of clay. And when Stanislas Wawrinka handed the former world number one his fifth loss of 2015 at the Italian Open quarter-final last Friday, Nadal’s frailties seemed to have been further highlighted.
Such stuttering display of form is definitely not to Nadal’s liking. Or for that matter, to the book-makers who very much doubt the recent ability of the Spaniard in attempting a record tenth title at Roland Garros when the final is played on June 7.
But these aspects hardly seem to be of much significance at this stage of his career. Starting 2005, Nadal already has nine titles at the French Open along with two each at the US Open and Wimbledon and one at the Australian Open. The Spaniard’s dominance has been unequalled in the past ten years. The only time he was denied was in an exciting 2009 final when Sweden’s Robin Soderling went on to out-swat him.
There are more important things to consider at this stage of Nadal’s career, and one of them – though quite bizarre – is having a healthy Nadal on a tennis court. The concern, here of course could be that the Spaniard may not end up dominating his competition, like in the past. But he is a fighter, no doubt. And having him healthy and out-gunning at least some of his opponents is far more important for tennis and the sporting world.