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Rafa Cruising Through the Clay Season

by Jonas Eriksson

Rafael Nadal has just won his third clay court tournament in a row with his title in Madrid Masters. He’s on another magical clay court run. Can anyone beat him at Roland Garros?

Dominic Thiem played a spectacular tournament all the way through to the final, but it wasn’t enough to beat the King of Clay on his home turf. In a extremely well-fought match he lost 6-7 4-6 to Rafa, but can take inspiration into Rome and later on the French Open. Thiem definitely has the game to beat anyone on a clay court and he has beaten Nadal once before, in Buenos Aires 2016.

What has ignited Rafa’s game again? Is it like with Roger Federer, the rest he had last year? Some time off from the sport sure seems to have boosted their inspiration as well as their energy levels. Maybe it would be something for Djokovic or Murray to think about in case their recent struggles continues?

No matter what, tennis is in good shape with Nadal and Federer back in prime form and with youngsters such as Thiem, Kyrgios, Coric and Zverev showing some promising results. But if there is one youngster who can make it tough for Nadal to win his tenth French Open – I think that would be Dominic Thiem.


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