Francisco Roig says Rafael Nadal is moving well at RG this year, claims Spaniard plays his best tennis when he's calm

Francisco Roig and Rafael Nadal
Francisco Roig and Rafael Nadal

Francisco Roig, one of Rafael Nadal's coaches, believes the Spaniard has played his best tennis at Roland Garros whenever he's been able to keep his composure.

Roig is a former World No. 60 who has been part of Rafael Nadal's coaching team since 2005. He has witnessed the 35-year-old lift a record 13 Roland Garros titles and 20 Grand Slam crowns.

Rafael Nadal has yet to drop a set in Paris this year but has endured his fair share of struggles. Speaking to the ATP website, Francisco Roig admitted Nadal has not been as consistent as he would have liked to have been, but asserted that the World No. 3 has been moving well.

"He (Rafael Nadal) is moving much better," stressed Roig. "It helps that he feels so good in the Roland Garros center. It is true that he has lacked regularity, he has had moments in which the level has dropped. But when he has played calmly, he has shown a superiority similar to that of the 13 years when he has won here."

Francisco Roig explained that Nadal is prone to bouts of nerves like any other player.

"He (Rafael Nadal) has moments when he feels nervous, he is human," said the Catalan coach. “We always expect a lot from him because we know what he is capable of. We see it in training and on a daily basis."

The 53-year-old acknowledged beating Rafael Nadal on clay was a "difficult challenge" because of the Spaniard's physically demanding approach.

"It is a very difficult challenge to beat Nadal in Paris because he feels good, it would be difficult to find a way," said Roig. “Physically you have to be very prepared because he moves you a lot, and he makes you play all the points. You have to gather a series of characteristics to take Nadal to the extreme."

Diego Schwartzman is a tough opponent as he plays without fear: Francisco Roig on Rafael Nadal's QF match

Rafael Nadal will next take on Diego Schwartzman
Rafael Nadal will next take on Diego Schwartzman

Rafael Nadal will take on Diego Schwartzman in the quarterfinals of Roland Garros 2021 later on Wednesday. Francisco Roig heaped praise on the Argentine and explained what makes Schwartzman such a difficult opponent.

"Against Diego it is always a difficult game, although afterwards the results have been clear on some occasions," said Roig. “The score has been very favorable at times, but he is a player who moves well. He is smart and brave. He goes out to win, without fear. This makes him a fearsome rival.
"He has almost every punch and generates force from either side of the court. He can entangle you… and if you play his game, it is normal for him to take advantage."
Edited by Arvind Sriram
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