"I started playing because of Nadal, I slept in one of his tank tops"

Corentin Moutet’s win over Stan Wawrinka in the first round of Roland Garros It had a double prize for the French tennis player. On the one hand, he was able to provide a victory to the French public that supported him in the Suzanne Lenglen. And on the other hand, the triumph allows him fulfill one of his dreams on the circuit: facing Rafa Nadal, his idol. It will be this Wednesday in the night session of the Philippe Chatrier (20:45, Eurosport)

An admiration that Moutet himself expressed in the press conference after the match, where he confessed that, if he plays tennis, it is largely thanks to Nadal. “My big dream is to face Nadal. I can’t say he’s my idol because I’m also on the professional circuit, but I started playing tennis thanks to him, I imitated him when I was little. I can’t hide it, it’s a huge pleasure to play against him. It is an opportunity that I deserve and I am very happy to have it. I have never played with him, not even in training. We’ll see what happens. I will go out on the court to try and win because I am a competitor as it is my job and I train every day to play these types of matches, but just experiencing the feeling of facing him is going to be amazing.”

In fact, Moutet’s admiration for Nadal was such that the Frenchman admitted that he tried to imitate everything from him when he was little. “When I was little I remember that I slept with sleeveless shirts, as he played. And also that I imitated his serve, his forehand, everything… Until the moment came when I decided to do what was best for me. When I was little you need to have idols and for me, who was also left-handed, Nadal was my inspiration.”

Despite the respect and admiration he has for Nadal, Moutet assures that he is not afraid of what he has to face in the match and that he will try to enjoy it… as well as bothering Nadal as little as possible once he is off the court despite be a big fan “I am not afraid. Nadal is a great player, everyone knows it. I know that he has won many Roland Garros and that right now he has a very good feeling. But I must concentrate on what I can do as I did against Wawrinka. I will enjoy the match And I’ll do my best to be the winner. I’m not one of those who will annoy their idols, ask him for a picture or ask him to play together. I don’t like it, I prefer to see them, leave them alone and preserve that image I had of them as a child, without forcing things to meet them. We have not had meetings spontaneously and that is why I have never trained with him.”

Nadal in Rome

Moutet was also asked if he sees weaknesses in Nadal after the defeat that the Spaniard suffered in Rome due to foot discomfort, something to which the Frenchman responded by highlighting the Spanish’s great start to the season. “It’s stupid that I let myself be influenced by what happened to Nadal in Rome. This year he has already won in Australia, let’s not talk nonsense (laughs). He has achieved good victories. I saw an interview in which he says that he has played injured for a large part of his career. I think he has an impressive mental strength, which makes him play despite injuries. Although he is injured, I think that Nadal continues to play very good tennis.”

Roland Garros ATP Draw Results

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