Roland Garros 2021: The slate of the semifinals: Nadal and Djokovic have a clear tactic to follow

Updated 11/06/2021 – 10:58

The semi-final at Roland Garros will be played on the court by Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. But first there will be an exhaustive analysis by the tennis players and their respective coaches on the tactic to follow, which is clear in theory, but not so easy to carry out in practice.


Djokovic arrives with the feeling of having saved difficult moments and of maximum pressure, such as lifting two sets of disadvantage against Lorenzo Musetti or being able to close in four sets a duel that had been complicated with Matteo Berrettini. Rafa, on the other hand, has not experienced that suffering, seeing himself on the edge, despite giving up a set with Argentine Diego Schwartzman.


The Spaniard, who turned 35 last week, arrives at the appointment in his physical prime. This is demonstrated by the fact that he does not mind playing far back because of the power of his legs and how well he is shooting from both sides. Djokovic can take advantage of the situation on the court of his rival to try to close many plays to the net, resorting to the serve-volley that he does not usually do or the typical long volleys. In the last final of Roland Garros, the pupil of Marian Vajda and Goran Ivanisevic tried to shorten the plays with left without a previous work. And Rafa was neutralizing them one by one. Most did not even get over the net.


Nadal’s best shot is the forehand and Nole’s, the backhand. The more balls the Serbian with the right touches, the more chances of success in the point the Balearic will have. Rafa has structured his game to aim for the backhand of his opponents. This time he will be forced to switch and pull more right hand parallels. Novak throws himself back when he hits from the forehand, something he doesn’t do with the backhand.


The closest precedent between the two in Paris is the fight for the title in 2020. One of the keys to Nadal’s resounding victory was the number of times he resorted to the cutback to change heights. Nole has a strong arm to counter them on hard surfaces, but not when it comes to the ground he lacks strength if he is not well supported. The depth of Rafa’s shots becomes another fundamental aspect in the development of the match.


Djokovic try to gain the track by opening angles on the backhand of his opponent. That will be achieved based on a good percentage of first serves to start dominating the play. The first ball The first service and the first ball will be of paramount importance. Nadal feels very comfortable when he can send from the forehand early in the point. It must be taken into account that the two best receivers of the men’s circuit face each other, so the serve takes on a special relevance. The mental aspect also counts and Djokovic knows that he has only beaten Rafa once on the land of Roland Garros.

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