'We Try To Tell Him He Is Better Than He Thinks': Nadal's Coach On French Open Preparation

'We Try To Tell Him He Is Better Than He Thinks': Nadal's Coach On French Open Preparation

by Nurein Ahmed

Marc Lopez has shed light on what the outlook of Rafael Nadal's Roland Garros preparations entails while working with him.

Lopez is Nadal's former doubles partner and currently serves on his coaching team. The pair memorably clinched a gold medal in doubles at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Like Nadal, Lopez is a French Open champion. He won the doubles title in Paris in 2016 while partnering with Feliciano Lopez. The 41-year-old was primarily a doubles specialist who peaked at World No. 3.

Although he formally retired from professional tennis in 2023, Lopez played one more match with Nadal at the Brisbane International doubles tournament in order to get his compatriot up to speed after a long injury layoff.

Having worked with Nadal since the end of 2021, the Barcelona native knows his countryman's weaknesses and has pointed out ways in which he can improve. He is impressed by Nadal's attitude and competitive spirit in almost all facets of life and sports.

While Nadal's biggest hurdle since rejoining the tour has been his physical health, Lopez has been keen on feeding him positive energy during practice sessions.

In an interview with Punto de Break, the 14-time ATP doubles champion explained that the coaching team has been instilling positive vibes within the camp and has assured Nadal that he is operating at a high level despite the 37-year-old downplaying his chances before Roland Garros.

"It's very competitive. Whatever he does, he wants to win and be 100%. Be it golf, tennis or ludo. What about Paris? I think that right now he is not at 100%, which is normal, but from the outside we try to tell him that he is better than he thinks."

For Nadal, getting counseling from his coaching team amidst physical struggles will serve as a motivation. The Spaniard has won back-to-back matches on clay for the first time since winning Roland Garros two years ago. The Spanish lefty avenged his loss to Alex de Minaur a week ago by beating the Australian in Madrid.


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