Corentin Moutet opens on facing childhood idol Rafael Nadal at French Open



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Corentin Moutet opens on facing childhood idol Rafael Nadal at French Open

French tennis player Corentin Moutet revealed Rafael Nadal was his idol and there was time when he was trying to copy the record 21-time Grand Slam champion. Moutet, 23, is set to clash Nadal for the first time in his career.

On Monday, Moutet upset three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka 2-6 6-3 7-6 (2) 6-3 in the French Open first round. Next up for Moutet is a meeting versus record 13-time French Open champion Nadal. "You're going to use it afterwards for the headlines, I don't know if I should say this, but when I was little, I slept with his Roland tank top!

I was really little, do not show me as if I was 14 or 15 years old… No, no! I don't know how old I was anymore. I imitated his serve. When you're little, you need to have idols, identify with people, and so I, who was left-handed, was my inspiration.

When we are little, we try to copy. I imitated his serve, his forehand, I imitated everything until I decided to do what worked best for me, and it certainly wasn't to imitate him," Moutet said, per We Love Tennis.

Moutet beats Wawrinka for the second time

Moutet and Wawrinka clashed for the second time and the Frenchman now owns a 2-0 head-to-head versus the Swiss. The first meeting between Moutet and Wawrinka came in 2020, when the Frenchman recovered from a set down to beat the Swiss in Doha.

Moutet, ranked at No. 139 in the world, is making his fifth French Open main draw appearance this year. Moutet achieved his best French Open result in 2019, when he reached the third round before losing to Juan Ignacio Londero.

Moutet will have an extremely task of achieving his new best French Open result this year as beating Nadal at Roland Garros is considered as the toughest thing to do in the game.