Everyone doubted Rafael Nadal eight months ago when Roland Garros took place in a soggy and cold autumn. The rare weather conditions blunted his incredible topspin as he started his title defense. However, everything turned out quite well for the Spaniard as he finished the tournament with only one set lost and claimed victory in the final against Novak Djokovic.
There will be no doubts among sport betting enthusiasts this year. Even though he is seeded third and will likely face Djokovic in the semi-final, Nadal is undoubtedly the favorite to win the tournament once again. Nadal started his campaign on Tuesday for a phenomenal 14th title by claiming victory against Alexei Popyrin 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 to reach the second round at Roland Garros. This was his 101th win at Roland Garros and his 31st successive victory.
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Nadal did not always provide the most fluent performance against Alexei Popyrin as the 21-year-old had a meaty serve along with an arsenal of weapons at his disposal. Once Nadal clinched the opening two sets, Popyrin managed to respond with a fantastic run of games. The Australian broke serve and was in a 5-3 lead, providing the possibility of a fourth set.
However, on the first set point, the 21-year-old dropped his second serve into the net. On his second attempt, he smashed an overhead so hard that it went into the back fence. The Australian followed that mistake with a horrible forehand that ended up wide of the tramlines. Nadal managed to force a break with an incredible forehand which ended any resistance. He used the momentum and claimed the match in a tiebreak, sending a reminder that any opportunity against the Spaniard must be taken on his court.
Women’s Draw at Roland Garros
In the women’s draw at Roland Garros, Ashleigh Barty made her return to the tournament for the first time since winning in 2019 against Bernarda Pera with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 win. However, the world number 1 arrived with a back/hip injury that she will need to manage if she wants to advance any further.
Ashleigh Barty already had to answer a series of injury questions after she retired in Rome due to an arm issue. When she lost the second set against Bernarda Pera, she had a medical timeout before she manage to recover.
Venus Williams was defeated by 32nd seed Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-3, 6-1 in less than an hour, marking her 6th consecutive defeat. Venus Williams is currently 3-12 since the pandemic started as she celebrates her 41st birthday this month. She is currently ranked 104th, a position that is actually assisted by the ranking points freeze due to the pandemic.
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However, the former number 1 also seems happy and content to play whatever remains of her wandering lifestyle as a professional tennis player. She was once the most feared player on the tour but still knows how to give a firm response. When asked how she deals with the press in light of the announcement by Naomi Osaka, she didn’t hold anything back.
She stated that she is well aware that every single person that asks her a question will never be able to play as well as she does, regardless of what is asked. This is how she deals with the press but each person obviously deals with it in their own way.