Former 18-time Grand Slam champion Chris Evert has some fitness concerns for Rafael Nadal ahead of the French Open as she stated that she is unsure which Nadal will show up. Nadal, 36, has been bothered by a chronic foot issue throughout the entire tournament but still he has managed to reach the final.
In the French Open final, Nadal will be taking on Casper Ruud. “Rafa I felt like today, even though he has such fight, he was maybe a step slower as he has had such gruelling matches,” Evert said in the Eurosport studio.
“I am unsure which Rafa will show up. I have no fear he will not be the Rafa in the past, but you just never know with your body and with the pressure”.
Mats Wilander on what Ruud needs to do to win versus Nadal
Ruud is establishing himself as one of the best players on clay.
Last year, Ruud won four clay titles. Even though Ruud is absolutely capable of playing well on clay, he can't be considered as the favorite versus the greatest clay court player in tennis history. Reflecting on the French Open final, former seven-time Grand Slam champion Wilander explained what he thinks Ruud should try to do versus Nadal.
“He moves so well, Casper,” Wilander said in the Eurosport studio. “It’s helping Casper to develop his game when he plays against guys like Cilic, as running around to hit forehands is not the path forwards for Casper.
He needs to take the ball earlier on the backhand, giving it a little more air. If he tries to run around and hit the forehand, he is going to open up the forehand corner and Rafa is going to absolutely destroy that corner. The way forward for him is to take the ball a little earlier and not run around for the forehand”.