Rafael Nadal is getting better! That’s right, on the eve of his 31st birthday Nadal registered the easy win of his Grand Slam career Friday at the French Open blowing out Nikolaz Basilashvili 60, 61, 60 in just 90 minutes.
The one game lost was the fewest Nadal’s surrendered in a Grand Slam match beating his former best a 62, 60, 60 beating he gave Juan Monaco in the 2012 French Open fourth round.
“Today was one of the best matches I have ever played, without a doubt,” Nadal said. “I am really happy because I have a really good feeling. Every day my training is going very well, my practice. When I have a match, I play very well.”
Basilashvili agreed, “He’s a much, much better player than I am obviously,” the Georgian said. “And it was going to take a lot of work if I wanted to play a good match against him. To be on Centre Court was amazing, I enjoyed it a lot. The score today was quite disappointing, of course. But it’s very difficult to play against him because balls are coming very high. I had a couple plays in my head about how to play against him, but I couldn’t find any rhythm. I couldn’t hurt him in any place. I was trying to change some things a little bit, but in every aspect of the game I could not hurt him. He was playing his game.”
Nadal was also playing his 100th career best-of-5 set match on clay, and he’s now 98-2.
That doesn’t mean that the numbers don’t worry me,” he said. “Numbers that I have on clay are important and I am very happy [about] all the things that have happened to me, my whole career.
“But especially on this surface, I’ve been very happy all the special things that have happened.”
Next for Rafa in countryman Roberto Bautista Agut. But tomorrow, it’s birthday time!
“Thirty-one is a number already, and I am happy that tomorrow I have the day off,” he said.
“Celebrate? Of course. This is Roland-Garros. I will try perhaps to go out for dinner with my family. But it’s an important week for me here, and I think I do need to remain focused above all.”
— ITF (@ITF_Tennis) June 2, 2017
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