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Roland-Garros – Moutet will challenge his childhood idol: “I even slept with Nadal’s tank top” – Eurosport FR


He had not won a match on the circuit since the Australian tour in January. But Corentin Moutet chose Roland-Garros to revive and how. Brilliant winner of Stan Wawrinka in the 1st round (2-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-3), the Frenchman more than justified his invitation by the organization of the tournament, he who could not claim to integrate directly the table because of its ranking (currently 139th). And as a bonus, he obtained the immense honor of measuring himself for the first time in his career against the living legend of the Porte d’Auteuil: Rafael Nadal, 13 times champion. Honour, really? Difficult to rejoice to meet one of the favorites for the final victory so early and therefore to see his chances of continuing the adventure reduced considerably. And yet, Moutet almost sees it as a sign of fate. “I’ll play hard. I’m on the circuit, so I can’t say he’s my idol anymore, but when I was very young, I started playing tennis watching Rafa play. I remember very well his first Grand Slams, I imitated him. A few years ago, I played a huge match against Juan Ignacio Londero (in the 3rd round in 2019, editor’s note) to potentially play against Nadal and I had missed this opportunity. So there, it’s a huge pleasure to be able to play against him”, he recalled at a press conference. Roland-Garros Wawrinka on the hunting board, Nadal in the sights: sacred Monday for Moutet 03 I imitated him a lot until the moment when I decided to do what was best for me So obviously, the danger that awaits Moutet is all found: he could have Chimène’s eyes for the one he has so much admired. Because he does not hide it, the phenomenon of identification was strong when he started playing tennis. “I imitated a lot of things about him, his serve… I even slept with his Roland tank top! Well, I was really small. When you’re small, you need to have idols, to identify with people. And then, I was left-handed, so Nadal was my inspiration: I was trying to reproduce what he was doing. I imitated him a lot until the moment when I decided to do what was best for me. me… and it was certainly not to imitate him”, he revealed, his eyes sparkling. Moutet’s game thus has little in common with that of Nadal. Neither does his character. But the Parisian is a fighter and the opportunity is all the better to seize as he will be able to count on a large audience to push him, unlike the previous two years due to the restrictive measures linked to the coronavirus pandemic. A real breath of fresh air which he hopes to take advantage of, he who has been disturbed by injuries at the start of the season. He has thus only been able to play three ATP tournaments (and two Challengers) since his 2nd round at the Australian Open.Adapting to the weight of Nadal’s ball, as against WawrinkaAt the best of times, the young Frenchman can again exploit 100% of its physical means. And that’s why he was able to overthrow Wawrinka in the first round, despite a very difficult start to the match. “I’ve trained a lot this year. It’s true that I haven’t played many matches. Wawrinka was quite aggressive at the start and I haven’t played a thousand players of this level. adaptation: you have to realize what you need to be able to provide as a game in order to be able to disturb them. I tried to be more and more aggressive, not to let it get into me. I was a little surprised by his ball speed at the start,” he said. “It will be a small release for Moutet” Moutet thus opposed the weight of the Swiss ball to his ability to counter and his good ground coverage. These are interesting avenues to explore against Nadal whose power and quality of the topspin are no longer to be underlined. But the Frenchman will really discover them on Wednesday, he who has never even shared a training session with his childhood idol. Many would dread and anticipate the bitterness of the fight. Not him. “I don’t fear anything at all. He’s a very great player, but from there to fear… I’ve never played with him, so I’m not going to imagine things when I don’t. I don’t know. He’s won Roland a lot, he’s got a good feeling here, that’s for sure. But I’ll try to focus on what I can do. If I have to fear something, that’s what I’ll be able to do. to provide, me. I will try to take advantage of this match while doing the maximum to come out on top.”Rafael Nadal (Roland-Garros 2022)Credit: Getty Images His foot injury? It would be stupid to let yourself be influenced. It is useless to get a mountain of what awaits him and to play the match before even entering the court, in short. It’s the best way to waste energy, which is so precious against the Mallorcan steamroller. After all, Nadal by definition has no psychological ascendancy over him, having never faced him before. Maybe even that famous injury to the left foot could resurface if the match were to last? “It would be stupid of me to let myself be influenced by that, sweeps Moutet. This year, he won the Australian Open, he’s had some really good wins. He’s played injured a lot throughout his career. I think he’s got an awesome mental toughness that he’s been able to deal with injuries. He hasn’t won all of them. his Grand Slams without any pain. Whether he’s injured or not, we’ll see, I don’t want to get into that kind of projection.” No, the Parisian will not let anything pollute his mind. A single credo therefore: give everything and come what may.When McEnroe and Katché revisit Green Day for NadalRoland-GarrosNadal starts with a bang


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