The Spanish Minister of culture and sports Jose Guirao praised Rafael Nadal prior to the world No. 2's French Open final against Dominic Thiem. "Nadal represents values that people appreciate in politics", said Guirao.
"We appreciate his effort in his career. He is always educated, fair, he never had a relationship issue with anyone. This fair-play is the key to politics. Apart from being an amazing and unbeatable sportsman, he is a person who transmits amazing values for society.
He also went through serious injuries and he always recovered. Achieving things as he did is always tough because you need to be a genius, but you have to work with the Federation and delivering the value that this sport has.
You have a great generation and someone like Nadal can come up." Before the match, Jim Courier said: “Unless Dominic is doing something that gets him out of his patterns, which would be hitting the hard backhand crosscourt into Nadal’s forehand, it’s just [Rafa] playing into his patterns and forcing Dominic to do something that’s uncomfortable for him.
If Nadal plays his normal patterns on clay, best of five, it’s been proven that he’s virtually unbeatable. And that will hold tomorrow unless Thiem does something extraordinary. Thiem’s going to need to take away Rafa’s patterns.
He’s going to need to replicate what Novak does so well against Rafa and stand in the backhand corner, take the ball early, go hard crosscourt to move Nadal out of the centre of the court and then attack with the forehand from there."