After making of sparring for Rafa Nadal in training, his main coach, Carlos Moyá, addressed the Spanish media displaced to Paris to talk about how do you see the Balearic tennis player before his momentous match against Djokovic, this Friday in the semi-finals at Roland Garros.
How do you face a match that is an early final?
It is an obviously special match. They had met many times in the finals and this year he has played in the semifinals. We are not talking about an early ending. They play the most repeated game in history, against number one.
Is what happened in Rome significant (Nadal beat Djokovic in three sets)?
It is a point of reference. Those of us who see him every day know that he can play even better. Each game is different and it is logical that he is adjusting things to try to win. We must look at what goes well for Rafa and what bothers the rival.
How do you see Djokovic?
It is difficult to reach the semifinal of a Grand Slam by destroying it. There are ups and downs, doubts, that match with Musetti that put him in serious difficulties and Berrettini too, but it is clear that it is Djokovic and he always finds a way to escape. Both know how to do it, with differences in the game, but they are natural survivors and until you shake their hand you cannot be sure that you have won.
What do you expect from him?
We have a lot of information, as does he from us. We hope you move a tab. As we try to do it quickly to adjust and make it more difficult.
Will Rafa be able to play even better than in the 2020 final?
It will be difficult to overcome it, I sign to match it. It was a master class on how to play tennis on clay, and in conditions that theoretically did not favor him; the ability to adapt was spectacular. If we had put together a script ourselves, it probably wouldn’t have come out so perfect. But it wasn’t a surprise that he played like this; Maybe the result was, but not that he played so well. We do not expect such a game, but one more Rome type, with alternatives and tough moments.
Is it physically better than other seasons?
We believe that he is better prepared this year. We come from less to more and from Monte Carlo to here the progression has been very good. Last year we arrived with more doubts, because he had only been able to prepare in Rome and it was not very good, but then he played as he did.
Are you worried that moments of doubt like those that Rafa had against Sinner and Schwartzman will be repeated?
No. If he can play the whole game at a high level, all the better, but going through some difficulties doesn’t hurt. I am in favor of trying to spend as little time as possible on the track, but it goes well. He knows that he is going to be mentally demanding.