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Nadal ready for Haase

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Originally published on 30/05/17 00:00

The 30 year-old has become a force on his beloved clay again and his coach, Carlos Moya, has not been surprised by the success of his charge. “I would not say we are doing something big that is making a difference,” the former world No.1 told ATPworldtour.com.

“The backhand has been working very well all along, the forehand maybe could have been a little lost and it is now returning to dominate a lot. He’s hitting the ball with high quality.

“Once he begins to dominate, he doesn’t let the opponent escape. That was something simple at the beginning of the year and we believe that it is continuing. All the goals we marked at the start of the season are being achieved.”

Nadal may be chasing an unprecedented tenth Roland Garros crown, but, as always, he is not underestimating his latest opponent. He said: “Robin Haase is a dangerous opponent; he hits the ball very hard. I need to be very focused on my serve, it will be very tough.”

Novak Djokovic was solid in his first round match against Marcel Granollers but he will look for better against Joao Sousa.

The world No.2 has won all three previous meetings with the Portuguese without conceding a set. Sousa, who has never been beyond the second round in Paris, is a tenacious competitor with a fearsome work-ethic.

Lucas Pouille versus Thomaz Bellucci has the potential to be a shotmaking spectacle and Grigor Dimitrov will need to wary against Tommy Robredo, a player he has only beaten once in four attempts.

In the women’s draw, Kristina Mladenovic will take on 2012 finalist, Sara Errani. The Frenchwoman had to overcome injury and nerves to sneak past Jennifer Brady in the opening round. She will need to be in better physical condition if she wants to overcome an opponent who is on a four-match winning run after battling through qualifying.

Garbine Muguruza settled nicely into the tournament with an eye-catching display against Francesca Schiavone. Her next opponent is Anett Kontaveit The 21-year-old Estonian will relish the opportunity to challenge another top player after comfortably beating the world No.1, Angelique Kerber, in Rome last week.

Petra Kvitova will continue her comeback against the colourful American, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, and Caroline Wozniacki will look to avoid a shock defeat against the talented young Canadian, Francoise Abanda.

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