Rafael Nadal backed for ‘irrational’ fairytale French Open win – Tennis365

Rafael Nadal backed for ‘irrational’ fairytale French Open win – Tennis365

Rafael Nadal has been backed to complete a fairytale French Open victory later this season by former Wimbledon doubles champion Frederik Lochte Nielsen.

Nielsen admits that his view isn’t backed by anything of any great substance, though, simply an irrational feeling.

It has been noted that Nadal has entered many French Open’s far from his best only to end the fortnight holding the trophy.

In 2022 he won the tournament despite playing with one foot completely numbed by pain-killing injections.

“I have some irrational feeling that there will be some kind of fairytale at the French Open,” Nielsen told SpilXperten.

“These extraordinary players should never be underestimated until they are no longer there. We’ve seen it so many times – with Djokovic, Sampras, Federer, and now also Nadal.”

“Of course, it’s possible that his body might fail him, but I believe he has his sights set on the French Open. He has withdrawn from some tournaments – even in the USA, where he perhaps could have played, but I don’t know for sure.”

Nielsen doesn’t believe that Nadal will take part in the French Open if he doesn’t have confidence in his ability to win it.

The Dane believes that the 22-time Grand Slam winner is just warming up for Roland Garros in his clay court entries so far this season.

Nadal won his first match in 2024 in the Barcelona Open first round before a second round exit at the hands of Alex De Minaur.

The Raging Bull would avenge that defeat in Madrid as he reached the last sixteen with three more match wins. Nadal breezed past American teenager Darwin Blanch and offered an encouraging second round showing when he saw off De Minaur. He picked up a third win in his nation’s capital when he battled to a three-set victory over Pedro Cachin.

Jiri Lehecka ended the Madrid fairytale but Nielsen opines that Paris might hold a happy ending for the superstar.

“I have a feeling that he’s saving energy for the French Open, where he is the man,” Nielsen added.

“I don’t think a player like him would step onto the court if he didn’t believe he could compete with the best.”

“He has also shown that he still has a good level – both in Brisbane, in Barcelona, and wherever else he has played. So, I have a feeling that there’s still something special in him.”

“It might not happen right now, and I see the tournaments more as preparation for him.”

“I just have this irrational feeling that there will be a fairytale at the French Open.”

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