Even a Rafael Nadal needs match practice, and that’s missing this year: Former World No.1

Six times Grand Slam Champion Boris Becker states that the year’s hiatus could pose a hurdle in Rafael Nadal’s victory at French Open 2020.

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Rafael Nadal

King of Clay, Rafael Nadal is undoubtedly the most favourite at French Open, with a record of 12 crowns for the tournament.

Rafa has been away from the sport for more than 6 months. He skipped the Western & Southern Open and also the US Open due to health concerns. He instead chose to strengthen his grip on clay back in his academy. However, in the past week, he was squashed on his comeback at the Italian Open in Rome as he lost the quarters to Argentine Diego Schwartzman.

I think the others’ chances are much better this year: Becker

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Rafael Nadal

German legend and the Head of Men’s Tennis at the German Tennis Federation (DTB), Boris Becker was on a short visit to the Hamburg European Open on Tuesday. During his visit, journalists asked him about his views on the upcoming French Open 2020.

Becker remarked that though Nadal remains a favourite at the year’s last majors, other players have a better chance to win this year, with World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and the US Open 2020 titlist Dominic Thiem posing the biggest threat for him. Highlighting the absence of the usual best performance of the Spaniard, the six-time Grand Slam champion stated that the hiatus over the past few months can affect his chances of victory.

“Even a Rafael Nadal needs match practice, and that’s missing this year. He remains my number one for the title, but I think the others’ chances are much better this year,” said the former World No.1.

Also Read: Now is not the moment to find excuses: Nadal accepts he has to fix certain things before French Open

“He usually plays Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid and Rome and comes to Paris with a lot of match experience. This year is different,” he added.

Becker also put forward his belief that a change in weather conditions due to the postponement of the tournament could further have an impact on the King’s play. The May-June slot is warm and sunny, whereas the present October weather will be quite chilly and heavy.

At early October, Paris won’t be as bouncy, won’t be as hot. These are conditions that don’t suit Nadal,” Becker said.

French Open 2020 had been postponed from its original May-June schedule in the face of the pandemic and kickstarts later this week in Paris from 27 September.

Also Read: Schwartzman showed Nadal is beatable on clay: Novak Djokovic