Rafael Nadal’s French Open final showdown with Novak Djokovic is ‘complicated’ for the Spaniard, according to former coach and uncle Toni Nadal. The 34-year-old goes into the clash as the overwhelming favourite, having won 12 times at Roland Garros in the past. But victory will be far from straightforward.
Nadal has been in superb form over the course of the French Open so far, with the Spaniard not dropping a single set on his way to the final.
The 34-year-old was too strong for Diego Schwartzman in their semi-final clash, prevailing 6-, 6-3, 7-6.
Nadal has won 12 French Open titles over the years, with only injury preventing him from scooping the trophy in 2009 and 2016.
Djokovic will not be easy to beat, however, with the Serb undefeated in full matches played in 2020 so far.
And Nadal’s former coach and uncle, Toni, believes things will be ‘complicated’ for his nephew as he looks to match Roger Federer’s total of 20 Grand Slam titles.
“It is a final that is going to be complicated [for Nadal] because there are a lot of factors in favour of Novak Djokovic,” Toni Nadal told Eurosport France.
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“I’m nervous? For the moment, no. I trust my nephew.
“Where will I watch the game? I will see it all alone. I prefer to be quiet for this kind of meeting.
“[Rafa] knows he has to raise his level. And when he had to raise it, he always succeeded.
“This Sunday he will have to play his best tennis.”
Nadal’s current coach Carlos Moya has claimed they have a plan to secure the French Open title, while also highlighting Djokovic’s expertise with drop shots as a potential danger.
“It’s a huge challenge, it is obvious that he (Djokovic) is one of the great players in history,” Moya said.
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“I don’t know if it will be more difficult than facing Federer at his best at Wimbledon. But we have a plan.
“Djokovic has been using the dropshot for a long time and over the past two weeks, he has done it even more. We will have to be ready.
“Serves are less dangerous. We’ll take that into account because the service won’t earn a lot of direct points.”
Meanwhile, speaking before the match, Nadal himself admitted he must up his game further if he’s to stop Djokovic charging to victory.
“I know to play against Novak, I need to play my best,” the 19-time Grand Slam winner said.
“Without playing my best tennis, the situation [against Djokovic] is very difficult.
“I know that is a court that I have been playing well on for such a long time, so that helps.
“But at the same time, he has an amazing record here too, being in the final rounds almost every single time.
“He is one of the toughest opponents possible. But I am here to keep trying my best.
“I know I have to make a step forward. I think I did one in the semi-finals. But for Sunday that is not enough. I need to make another one.
“That’s what I’m looking for. I am going to work hard to try to make that happen.”
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