“It’s time for the indoor season … (…) And yes, I’m getting ready for Paris-Bercy”. From a tweet published about ten days ago, Rafael Nadal put an end to the suspense concerning the program of his end of the season. After offering himself his 13th Roland Garros, the Spaniard decided he did not want to wait to try to embellish even more the love story that binds him to the capital. From Wednesday, the world n ° 2 will be on a mission to win his first Rolex Paris Masters, one of the three tournaments in this category that are missing from his record, along with Miami and Shanghai.
Between Nadal and eastern Paris, the mayonnaise has not taken hold so far. At the height of his 34 years, he will participate in this Masters 1000 only for the eighth time since his debut in 2007, the year of his only final, lost against David Nalbandian. Bercy saw him withdraw nine times, before or during the competition, on a surface that puts his knees to the test at the end of the season. This was the case in his last two participations: in 2017 and last year, when he had to give up his semi-final against Denis Shapovalov.
“At the end of the year, in the past, sometimes I would arrive physically tired, but also mentally., he admitted at a press conference on Sunday. On the indoor courts, I need to be fresh, available and in top form. This may be the surface on which I need to improve my game to be successful. At Bercy, I often had problems “.
Freshness and clear picture
But this season, the situation has changed. In a schedule disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, Nadal has only played ten matches since his return in September. A freshness factor which inevitably influenced the choice of Mallorcan. “When I arrive at a tournament, I try to deploy my best tennis, not to be petrified by the worries of the past (…) I am ready to deploy my best tennis, I will not let myself be tapped by any injury or fear of injury “, he insisted.
Not to mention that it is part of a table cut by three of the five best in the world since Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Dominic Thiem will not be part of the party. Rather spared in the draw, he could be relatively quiet until a possible half against Alexander Zverev or Andrey Rublev. “I will try to give the best. I would like to give myself a chance to succeed”, he warned.
2020 therefore appears to be the year or never to achieve a double Roland-Bercy of which only André Agassi knows the flavor. A title that would be particularly expensive, since it would be the 36th in Masters 1000 for the native of Manacor, who would thus equal Novak Djokovic. A few weeks after joining Roger Federer with 20 Grand Slam titles, this would look good. This will first and foremost go through a… 1000th career success on Wednesday, against his compatriot. Just that.