Coach Carlos Moya: Win over Denis Shapovalov was turning point for Rafael Nadal
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Coach Carlos Moya has confirmed that his pupil Rafael Nadal arrived to Roland Garros in positive spirits. Nadal hasn't had a perfect clay season so far but he managed to make it all the way at the Barcelona Open and Rome Masters.
In Rome, Nadal saved two match points against Denis Shapovalov en route to winning the title. "He’s doing very well coming in. We’ve combined matches with more specific training sessions, as we almost always do.
His preparation has been good, but [the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in] Rome was a turning point, above all the match with Denis Shapovalov," Moya told the Atp website. "Because until then he’d had doubts, good days and bad days, insecurities...
When he won, he took a step forward and found the consistency he was looking for. I’m sure that we will still see more from Rafa, which he is showing in training. Now it’s a question of playing that level in competition."
Nadal had doubts after the Monte Carlo Masters exit
"He had prepared very well for the clay swing and the match against Andrey Rublev [at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters] caught us a little off guard.
Not because of the defeat, but the way he played. That match affected him quite a lot, even though later he managed to keep winning. We didn’t see the same Nadal as before that day, in competition or training. However, the opportunity to keep winning and for things to click came up, although you never know why.
He came through adversity against Shapovalov [in Rome] and immediately afterwards had a very tough match against [Alexander] Zverev, who had just beaten him in Madrid [at the Mutua Madrid Open], and he was able to play very well.
From there he picked up confidence and made the most of it. He played very good tennis in the final with [Novak] Djokovic, but he is capable of playing better." Nadal is against the top favorite to win it all at the French Open.
"There’s always danger," Moya said, when asked who's the biggest danger to Nadal at Roland Garros. "We try not to look beyond the next match. It may be a cliché, but it’s true. At the end of the day, you don’t have to be better than 127 players, you have to be better than seven.
He’s arrived as we wanted, having won in Rome, healthy and confident. The extra week before the French Open has been positive for himm because he’s been able to rest and right now he is more prepared for all the battles he may face."