The clay court Grand Slam is usually held in May and June, but was pushed back to the end of September due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The weather is much cooler at this time of year and the temperatures have further dipped due to the rain here.
The organiser will also be using a different ball, making the conditions more unfamiliar. “What you need is the right energy to accept every thing. That is what I am doing,” said Nadal, who prefers warmer conditions and faster clay courts.
“Just stay positive knowing that the conditions are not perfect for me, maybe not perfect for others either, and accept that I am going to need my best version to have chances. Of course, I will fight for the final goal,” added the World No.2. Nadal, who is one Grand Slam behind Roger Federer’s record men’s haul of 20 titles, skipped the US Open due to the pandemic and lost in the quarter-finals of the ATP Masters in Rome. “Conditions probably are the most difficult for me ever in Roland Garros. Ball is completely different. Ball is super slow, heavy. It is very cold. Slow conditions.”
Meanwhile, in women’s singles, Serena Williams will gun for a first French Open title since 2015. It is to be remembered that Serena has not won a Grand Slam since the 2017 Australian Open. But, Romanian Simona Halep, the top seed, could stand in her way.