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Once a King, always a King - The mind games of Rafael Nadal

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Feature
1.56K   //    12 May 2015, 10:12 IST

With Rafael Nadal winning the French Open tournament every year, there is an ever-increasing urge for other players to snatch it away from him, and there is definitely a certain pride in Nadal which makes him want to keep the trophy with him. But as time travels, even the strongest lion becomes weak.

It is then that the lion has to use some of his wits to remain the king of the jungle!

This is the first time in 10 years that Rafael Nadal has dropped out of the top five in the ATP rankings. More importantly, this could be the first time ever that he is going into Roland Garros without winning a Masters 1000 trophy. The Rome Masters is the last Masters event on clay before the French Open. 

Let us compare his pre-French Open statistics of 2014 and 2015. 

Tournament

2014 Result

2015 Result

Qatar Open

Won 

First Round

Australian Open

Finalist

Quarter Finals

Rio Open

Won

Semis

Buenos Aires Open

Did Not Play

Won

Indian Wells

Third Round

Quarter Finals

Miami Masters

Finalist

Third Round

Monte Carlo Masters

Quarter Finals

Semis

Barcelona Quarter Finals Third Round
Madrid Open Winner Runner-up

There is not much of a difference in the number of big titles he has won. The only big difference between the two years is that he hasn’t been able to defend the points at the same tournaments that he played well in last year.

Nadal has done exactly that. By praising Novak Djokovic last year, he literally removed all the heavy expectations fans had from him. Remember him and Toni Nadal saying that the 2014 win could probably his last? Well, the mind games started right there. 

Rafael Nadal’s run at Roland Garros has been nothing short of impressive

Nadal not winning any Masters tournament so far has worried his fans. But an ATP rank below No. 5 means that he could face Djokovic much before finals, and that match will probably not be as stressful as a final against the World No. 1.

Nadal will definitely win the French Open this year too. Does that sound too optimistic? Well, that is exactly why Nadal is revered. He is always optimistic, and so are his fans.

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CONTRIBUTOR
Cricket, Tennis, Formula One, Football, Badminton...Cricket, Tennis, Formula One, Football...Cricket, Tennis, Formula One...Cricket, Tennis...Cricket, Tennis...Cricket, Tennis. Woah! That\'s where my madness goes. I just loove sports especially cricket and tennis!! I am a graduate in Physics. So, naturally, I am very much interested in trajectories. Hey trajectories mean balls and there goes..Cricket, Tennis :P I love to write too. Hence my interest in Sportskeeda. Excellent website!
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