10 is the target and Rafael Nadal’s search for his 10th Roland Garros title could not have gone much better. The former world number one is one of the most if not the most successful champion on the clay but since his last Roland Garros title almost 2 years ago there has been some difficult times but his tennis has improved again this year despite recent losses to Murray and Djokovic in Madrid and Rome respectively.
Rafa’s first opponent was against the big serving Australian Sam Groth who came into the tournament with no tournament preparation on clay courts but was playing challenger events on the otherside of the world a few days ago so turning up to the first round of Roland Garros to play the King of Clay with no tournament practice isn’t great and it showed as Rafa rolled past the Australian.
It’s not often even when you watch one of the best in the world play you think ‘everything was exceptional’. Not one aspect of Nadal’s game against Groth could have been better. Just look at the statistics!
Aces – 1
Doubles Faults – 0
First serve % – 84%
First serve points won – 34/38
Second serve points won – 6/7
Net points won – 7/8
Winners – 25
Unforced errors – 3
Total points won – 87/125
The only part you could say could have improved would be aces and break points won winning just 8/14 but when you win 6-1 6-1 6-1 there’s not much more to improve on.
Tougher tests will follow for the 9 time former champion but he has laid down the gauntlet and will have players worried if he continues the next couple of rounds like this.
Fingers crossed we see more of this these next few weeks!