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Eye of the Coach #56: Playing at night doesn’t suit Rafael Nadal – and here’s why

In the latest episode of Eye of the Coach, Patrick Mouratoglou looks at why the night session doesn’t suit Rafael Nadal’s game

May 31, 2022
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The figures

Rafael Nadal made it clear that he doesn’t like playing in the night session at Roland-Garros – and Novak Djokovic hinted with a smile that he’d be very happy to face his Spanish opponent in the evening on clay.

In the latest episode of Eye of the Coach, Patrick Mouratoglou looks at why that is.

He assesses the strengths of the 21-time Grand Slam champion’s game, and why day conditions suit it better.

Key moments

0.12 – The conditions of play have a big impact on a player’s chance of success, says coach Patrick Mouratoglou.
0.17 – Relatedly, if conditions suit your qualities as a player, you will be more successful.
0.24 – There are two main reasons why night conditions are different and don’t suit Rafael Nadal.
0.33 – One of Nadal’s biggest qualities is the quality of his ball, which rotates much faster than any other ball on tour. “When it touches the ground, it just jumps so fast,” says Mouratoglou.
0.48 – Dry and hot conditions help that happen and hand him control. Colder conditions stop the bounce height and speed, making it easier for an opponent to get a foothold in the game.

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