Coach Moya Breaks Down Nadal's R1 Victory
On Tuesday, the defending champion defeated Simone Bolelli 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(9) to advance to the second round, where he'll face Guido Pella for a place in the Round of 32. Moya lists five key takeaways from Nadal’s opening-round match.
A Victory -- With Its Ups And Downs
Today's match wasn't the prettiest, but he still managed to win. Getting through the early rounds at a Grand Slam is an ordeal. Yes, he came through in three sets, but the match was a lot tougher than the score suggests [Nadal trailed 6/3 in the third set tie-break and saved four set points]. Rafa had several ups and down, but in the end he came through and that's what matters. This win will give him confidence going to the later rounds.
Just Roll With The Punches
Rafa has maintained a positive outlook, despite the weather conditions and the rain delay. He understands not everything will go his way and he has taken this in stride. Some elements of his game have been on point while others will come as he gets more matches in. That's why I'm not too concerned that he wasn't at his best today.
Let's Think Positive Thoughts
At one point during the match [against Bolelli], Rafa seemed to be taking his game to the next level. He earned that break point at 3-3 in the second set and I thought Rafa would sprint to the finish. That wasn't the case, obviously, and maybe some doubts set in when things didn't go that way. Still, we're staying positive and hoping to make some corrections ahead of the next match.
We'll Get There When We Get There
Last year's results here at Roland Garros can't be repeated. [Nadal didn't drop a set en route to his 10th Roland Garros title in 2017]. Just because he didn't get off to the ideal start doesn't mean we're panicking. Looking back, Rafa's start to the US Open last year was difficult as well, and he wound up winning the tournament. We just need to get through the early rounds, find our rhythm and everything else will fall into place.
Bolelli Was Taking His Chances
Bolelli did what he had to do. Some points were like a coin toss; he just went for it. That was the Italian's best option against Rafa, and Rafa knew his best option was to try and neutralise that sort of playing style. So Rafa did his all to eliminate the element of luck by limiting Bolelli's shot selection. Like I said, we still have areas in which we need to improve and make opponents feel even less settled. It was difficult to achieve that against Bolelli in the first round.