Spain’s Rafael Nadal was down a set and a break against the Argentinian Diego Schwartzman in the quarter-finals. The semifinals of the French Open was a different scenario. The Spaniard saved all the six break points faced in the first set against Juan Martin del Potro. As a result, he took a comfortable victory to advance to the final.
Now, Nadal’s coach Carlos Moya has suggested that a strong start on Sunday against Dominic Thiem in the final would help. ‘He’s feeling a bit insecure maybe at the beginning and once he gets ahead in the match his confidence comes back‘, Moya said.
‘It’s something we’re aware of, it just happened in the last couple of matches, it’s not something that is happening very often with him. But yes it happened in the last two matches. But I guess the way he’s been playing the last three sets yesterday (Thursday, vs Schwartzman) and the last two sets today (Friday, vs del Potro) is going to help give him confidence.
We will talk about that [nervous starts]. We don’t have to forget that, we have to be aware of that, but also not give too much importance to that otherwise it can get in your head and it’s not helping.’ Moya feels confident ahead of the match: ‘It’s his court, he has the keys and he has to take advantage of that.
It’s not going to be easy but he’s facing Dominic, we know he’s the only player that beat him on clay the last couple of years. He’s a player that can be adapted more to the clay, it will be tough.’
If Nadal wins, it will be his 11th French Open title and it will take him a step closer to arch-rival Roger Federer. So the big question is, can Thiem upset Nadal or will the King of Clay rule on his dirt?