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‘It’s Roland Garros, it’s Rafa!’: Moya shrugs off Nadal fears

Rafael Nadal’s coach Carlos Moya said Saturday he has no worries over the Spaniard’s physical condition ahead of his 14th French Open final by emphasising: “It’s Roland Garros and he’s Rafa Nadal!”

Nadal takes on Casper Ruud on Sunday with a 14th Paris title in sight and a 22nd Grand Slam crown.

Should he win, the 36-year-old will become the oldest ever men’s champion at Roland Garros.

“We rely on the experience factor, on Rafa’s game. Here, it’s Roland Garros and he’s Rafa Nadal!” said Moya.

Nadal has been on court for over 11 hours in his last three rounds to see off Felix Auger-Aliassime, Novak Djokovic and an injury-hit Alexander Zverev.

He arrived at the tournament unsure if he would be able to play after suffering a recurrence of a chronic left foot injury which has plagued him throughout his career.

“On fast courts I would be a bit more worried. But on clay less so because historically he has always recovered well from his matches there,” said Moya.

“Even at his age I think he is doing well in recovery, he will rest and I don’t think it will be a handicap.

“In the semi-finals (against Zverev) he had a physical decline quickly in the match. It wasn’t easy. Obviously it wasn’t his best match but he got there with his game, it gives confidence. As each round goes by, he is transformed into a new player.”

Moya believes that Nadal’s ability to bounce back from wrist, knee and foot injuries at regular periods in his career will stand him in good stead on Sunday against his Norwegian opponent who is 13 years his junior.

“He’s a player who, since he was 17, and with all the injuries he’s had, and all those months out, has always come back and always won.

“He sharpens up during the first two or three rounds of a Grand Slam, he finds his form, and once he is in the round of 16 or in the quarters, he becomes the Rafa we all know.”

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