‘Rafael Nadal must change tactics, because the new ball favours Novak Djokovic,’ says former coach

Toni Nadal says Rafael Nadal must be prepared to be patient at Roland Garros this year – because conditions favour Novak Djokovic.

Rafael Nadal has had incredible success at the French Open, winning it 12 times in hs career so far.

They have all been underpinned by brilliant use of spin on the ball, though, which no longer appears an effective tactic this time around due to the new heavier Wilson ball.

That, according to Toni Nadal, who coached nephew Rafa for most of his career, says it’s time to find another way.

“Djokovic is very solid,” Toni Nadal told AFP. “I think he’s the one who is most favoured by the new balls. It’s more difficult for Rafael.

“I think Rafael has been quite good. He arrived with some uncertainties because this is the year he played the least before the tournament,”

In the third round against Stefano Travaglia he played well. But Sunday against Sebastian Korda, it was too windy to really judge his game,” explained Toni.

“As the conditions change, you have to impose your style of play. To win a point, you have to be prepared to play it longer.

“In previous editions, Rafael was very effective on points under rallies of nine shots.

“This year, the rallies are a bit longer. The topspin is not as effective.”

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