Rafael Nadal wanted to save energy in the second set vs Thiem - Wilander


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Rafael Nadal wanted to save energy in the second set vs Thiem - Wilander

On Eurosport the seven-time Grand Slam winner Mats Wilander praised Rafael Nadal's French Open title. Wilander believes that this is the most difficult Major to win. "We are so privileged, and one thing people do not realize is that 90 percent of the field in the men's tournament grows up on clay, so they are very comfortable sliding and playing on clay, constructing points on clay compared to Wimbledon.

Nobody plays on grass. That's incredible', said Wilander on Eurosport. "The way Nadal hits the ball with the amount of top spin and court coverage, everybody expected it to be a great match. The first two sets met with the expectations.

It was crucial for Nadal to get a good start. In the second set he saved energy a little bit, started to come forward more, not wanting to run that much, I thought momentum was with Thiem and then in the third set Rafa somehow raised the level.

Thiem relaxed a bit, he was maybe happy to finally win a set against Nadal", he added analyzing the final. Wilander predicts more success is coming for Nadal: "The way he hit backhand tells me how hard he is working to improve his game and develop another way of playing.

He took his backhand early in the third, that surprised Dominic and the match ended." Nadal said: "This has been a difficult year. And when you are constantly hit in the face, you end up being hurt. Well, I have had very difficult moments when I was hurt because of all my physical problems.

But with the support of all the people around me, I can tell you that thanks to my desire to continue, I was able to move forward. A few weeks ago, I was in a difficult situation, and I decided I was going to improve little by little, to go to the court and decide to improve progressively without taking drastic steps.

I said it in Barcelona and in Madrid. I don't think that making drastic changes or drastic improvements are a good thing. It's better to take small steps that you can consolidate. And I feel that I have been able to do that over the past four weeks, every week a little bit better, every match a little bit better.

The match against Tsitsipas in Madrid showed me that I was improving, but my personal feelings were much better, and it was a great step ahead. And obviously winning helped me, but more than winning, the confidence I had and what happened in Rome helped me come over here with some confidence in me."