Boris Becker made some interesting remarks to Eurosport's microphones. The former world number one thinks Rafael Nadal is less dominant than usual on clay-courts and that he could have serious problems at the Roland Garros 2021.
During the interview Boris said: "Nadal's passport says he will turn 35 years-old next June. This year I have never seen Nadal as strong as in the last final held in Paris against Novak Djokovic. But tennis can change in a matter of months.
This year I don't see it as dominant on earth as in previous seasons. Mood is certainly an important factor. If he does not win the Masters 1000 in Rome, he will not arrive with much confidence in Paris. Yes, he has won the tournament thirteen times, but I can't see him as dominant.
It is true that he won in Barcelona, but he had to fight until the end."
Boris Becker and Mischa Zverev's words on Rafa
Then came the words of Mischa Zverev, Alexander's older brother, who said: "When you face Rafa, you always hope he's not on the best day of him.
But when he comes out on the pitch, you know you're going to be playing against someone very strong, who runs like crazy and fights on all balls. To measure yourself against a champion of the caliber of Nadal, you need to be very strong mentally and have faith in your tennis.
You need to know exactly what tactic to take to beat him. Tactics are important, but the mental aspect is the key to everything in my opinion. In the best of three sets you definitely have more chances to beat him, but in the best of five it's really complicated."
Rafael Nadal did not start the season on clay in the best way and managed two surprising defeats in the quarter-finals of the Masters 1000 in Monte Carlo and Madrid: the first against Andrey Rublev, the second against Alexander Zverev.
Between the two prestigious tournaments, however, the Spaniard won the Barcelona tournament for the twelfth time in his career. Finally, in Rome, the Mallorcan gained access to the final where he will facefor the endless time his rival Novak Djokovic.