'Slower conditions will affect Rafael Nadal's topspin', says top coach

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'Slower conditions will affect Rafael Nadal's topspin', says top coach

31-1: this is the balance of victories and defeats for the Serbian (n.1 in the world) Novak Djokovic in 2020. A clarification, however, is a must because the only knockout, in reality, is the famous disqualification of Nole at the US Open, still under discussion today.

Basically, the Balkan, with the exception of that episode, has always won and the last signing has arrived in Rome, home of the Internationals of Italy. Djokovic scored for the fifth time on Roman clay against the Argentine Diego Schwartzman, bringing his career Masters 1000 count to 36.

An important fact because the native Belgrade champion reached the top of the list of winners of this particular type of tournament ahead of the Spanish Rafael Nadal (35) and the Swiss Roger Federer (28). Patrick Mouratoglou believes the heavier conditions at Roland Garros this year will favor Rafael Nadal's rivals.

The French Open begins on Sunday, and Nadal remains the favorite to win a 13th title there.

Mouratoglou on Rafael Nadal

"I think this year we are going to have a lot of surprises. The preparation of the players is completely different.

The weather conditions make this tournament a different tournament entirely, and we have two players that are at the top of their games in Dominic Thiem and Novak Djokovic," Patrick Mouratoglou said to the Tennis Majors website.

“The temperature will be lower, it’s going to be more humid, so the balls will be less lively than usual. For Rafael Nadal’s topspin, it’s also going to be more challenging. One of the reasons that he is the ultimate clay-court player is because of the quality of his topspin, which is so difficult to control," Mouratoglou said.

"It’s difficult to control because it’s explosive, and the ball is so explosive because the courts are fast. I think the conditions in Roland Garros this year are not the best conditions for Rafael Nadal. These are difficult conditions for players who have a great quality of topspin and play very aggressive tennis because the conditions clearly will be much slower," he added.

"For the counterpunchers who don't miss and who cover the court well, such Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, maybe Medvedev also, for those guys, the conditions will be an advantage," Mouratoglou concluded. Rafael Nadal has played only one event (Rome) in the past six months coming into the French Open, where he lost in the quarterfinals.