‘Rafael Nadal needs a little more mobility’ says coach ahead of French Open campaign

Rafael Nadal needs ‘a little more mobility’ if he is to extend his incredible French Open record this year, says coach Francisco Roig.

Nadal will be going for a 14th Roland Garros crown next month, and if he gets it he will take the outright lead in the Grand Slam race from Roger Federer.

He will naturally enter the tournament as a strong favourite, but Roig believes he still has improvements to make despite winning two clay titles already this season.

“Looking ahead to Roland Garros, I think a little more mobility is important,” Roig told the official ATP website.

“At the level of aerobic capacity, he has been very good, holding out in games, but I think we have room for improvement when moving.

“It can still be a more dynamic point, both forward and in lateral mobility.

“And the serve must also be worked on, although it has gotten better and better. In fact, against Djokovic (in Rome) he was already pretty good.”

Roig also commented on who he sees as Nadal’s main rivals for the French Open title this year, and says no one is writing off Dominic Thiem despite his recent struggles.

“Novak Djokovic is still the rival, perhaps, who can cause more problems, along with Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem,” Roig explained.

“Of course, if Dominic Thiem regains the rhythm and confidence that he usually shows on clay, I would say that I do not see differences between him and Djokovic.

“Since he won the US Open he has dropped a bit, but I’m sure that for Roland Garros he will be at the necessary level and will be a very tough opponent.

“He is a very complete player, who demands a lot in each hit, if you leave the ball a little short, the point is over. On a physical level he is very demanding.”

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