Rafa Nadal French Open practise 2022

Rafael Nadal eager to build on ‘positive start’ in Paris

Grand Slam legend Rafael Nadal has opened up about his chances of French Open success after beating Australia’s Jordan Thompson in straight sets to reach the second round of the Paris Slam.

Rafael Nadal, who is looking for a record 14th Roland Garros title, got his 2022 campaign off to the perfect start with a 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 victory over the world number 82.

It was only the 35-year-old’s sixth match on clay this season after missing the majority of the clay court swing due to the cracked rib he sustained at the Indian Wells Masters back in March.

The 13-time French Open champion came into the first round match without many expectations, as he entered Paris off the back of a loss in Rome in which he struggled with his chronic foot injury.

The loss in Rome also confirmed that this season is the first time since 2004 that the ‘King of Clay’ entered Roland Garros without at least one clay title under his belt.

Reflecting on his opening round match, Nadal admitted that there is lots of room for improvement and needs to improve as he progresses in the tournament.

“I think I need to improve my movement. For moments, the speed of my forehand — the speed I think could be better and should be better.

“Of course I am the kind of player that I am always looking for something else, looking for better things. That’s what I am going to try to find in my practice tomorrow and then in the next match.”

However, despite Nadal stating he areas to improve, he was happy with his performance stating it was a “positive start.”

“It is a good start, of course, straight sets. That’s it. I played good for a while.

“Then [there are] things that I could do better and I need to do better. But it is a positive start, and that’s given me a chance to have one more day of practice tomorrow and then another chance after tomorrow.”

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