Corretja: 'Rafael Nadal and other Spaniards have an advantage on clay'



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Corretja: 'Rafael Nadal and other Spaniards have an advantage on clay'

Rafael Nadal is the most successful player ever at Roland Garros. The Spanish champion has triumphed twelve times in Paris and this year a possible success would allow it to equal Roger Federer's record of 20 Grand Slam titles.

The second seasonal Slam was moved to the end of September to deal with the Coronavirus emergency. However, Nadal is not the only Spanish player able to make his mark in Paris, indeed the list is quite long. Just think of Juan Carlos Ferrero, Carlos Moya, Sergi Bruguera, Albert Costa and David Ferrer, who stood out in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower.

The unilateral decision of the French Open to move in the autumn has caused much discussion, generating the angry reaction of the ITF, the ATP and the players themselves. The date set for the start of the tournament is 20th September, but an additional week's delay is likely to avoid overlapping with the Tour de France.

Former Roland Garros finalist Alex Corretja weighs in on how Rafael Nadal and other Spaniards have dominated the red clay.

Corretja: 'Spaniards play with a lot of topspin'

"When you play topspin the ball bounces high to the opponent, it means you don't make too many mistakes," Alex Corretja said in his chat with Daniela Hantuchova.

"It means physically you need to develop your game a lot because you're not going to make winners after two, three shots. I didn't want to hit any winner, I just wanted to move my opponent around for 30 mins and let the score say - Oh Jesus, it's only 2-1.

Because I play someone not used to it and after 30 mins, if they see it's 1-1 Deuce, then they're gonna give up," he added. "On clay you have to play like chess, you need to move here and you need to move there.

It reinforces your mind because you know you might spend three or four hours to win a match. If you are from different countries than Spain, you hit the ball, you really feel it, you can hit a winner after one backhand down the line.

Here (as a Spaniard) you can survive, you can go out again, you can restart. When you reach Roland Garros and play a Spanish guy, you know it's gonna be a battle," Corretja finished. French Tennis Federation President Bernard Giudicelli is adamant that Roland Garros 2020 will go ahead, but concedes it is still unclear if fans will be allowed to attend. Rafael Nadal has also confirmed that he would participate in the event if it takes place in September.