Paris for the most part has treated world no 2 Rafael Nadal well, after all, he did just lift his 13th Roland Garros trophy on October 11.
But when it comes to another tournament in the French capital city, the Rolex Paris Masters, it has somewhat been a burden of his and has often eluded him.
In his last four outings at the indoor hard court tournament, he has made the semi-finals in 2019, quarter-finals in 2017, quarter-finals in 2015, and the semi-finals in 2013. While the last time he made the final at the Paris Masters was in 2007 where he lost to David Nalbandian.
Meanwhile, Nadal’s last indoor title came in Madrid in 2005 where he won the Mutua Madrileña Masters Madrid defeating Ivan Ljubičić.
However, even though it has been 15 years in between indoor titles, the world no 2 does have a 70.1% winning record when it comes to playing inside, and while he hasn’t played as much tennis this year, Nadal may be primed to finally break that burden.
After crashing out of the quarterfinals in the Australian Open at the start of the year, Nadal has responded well even if he has only played in two Grand Slams.
— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) October 20, 2020
Having withdrawn out of the US Open, Nadal claimed his 20th Grand Slam trophy and his fourth Roland Garros title in a row when he defeated Novak Djokovic in straight sets.
While on the ATP circuit he has claimed the Coupe des Mousquetaires at his favorite court, Roland Garros, and made it to the quarterfinals of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.
While it is unclear who Nadal may face in his opener as it depends on who wins between Serbian Filip Krajinovic or fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez.
If Kranjinovic defeats Lopez, it would be only the second time the duo would meet. Their first meeting was meant to be in 2017 at the Paris Masters, but Nadal withdrew. Their first official meeting came two years later during the 2019 Indian Wells tournament where the 20 time Grand Slam winner won 6-3, 6-4.
If however, Lopez gets the win over Krajinovic, it will be the 14th time the Spaniards have met with Nadal winning nine times and Lopez winning four times.
Despite Lopez only winning four times against Nadal, he has won his last two outings against him coming in the Cincinnati Masters in 2015 and the Shanghai ATP masters in 2014.
If there is a time to finally break his burden at the Rolex Paris Masters, the time could be now for Nadal who is the highest-seeded player at the tournament.
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Image by: Yann Caradec