French Open tennis - Rafael Nadal stat 'not many people know' is 'vital' behind his success, says Chris Evert
Rafael Nadal, who turned 35 earlier in the week and is targeting a 14th French Open crown, defeated Britain's Cameron Norrie in straight sets, 6-3 6-3 6-3, in their third-round clash on Court Suzanne Lenglen on Saturday afternoon. Norrie was the last Brit remaining in the singles draws at Roland Garros but his impressive run came to an abrupt end at the hands of the Spaniard.
'Not many people know this' - Nadal stat 'vital' behind success, says Evert
Rafael Nadal defeated Britain's Cameron Norrie in straight sets in the third round of the French Open and Chris Evert says one stat is "vital" behind his incredible consistency.
Nadal, who turned 35 earlier in the week and is targeting a 14th French Open crown, is always impossibly intense, even at the start of matches. But Norrie gave as good as he got early on, only to eventually fall short after two hours and seven minutes as Nadal reached the last 16 at Roland Garros for the 16th time.
The Brit managed to win a 21-shot rally early on which had fans standing on Court Suzanne Lenglen in just the second game on his own serve. But his moments of ascendancy were fleeting and the reigning champion at Roland Garros took the opening set 6-3 to stamp his authority on the match with a great atmosphere in Paris.
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"Rafa is showing a more all-court game in the last few years. Even though he is the greatest ever on clay, he still wants to improve and he is still learning a lot of shots," Evert told Eurosport.
His touch is much better, he is serving much bigger. But the stat I like about Rafa - not many people know this - in the first three shots in a point, he makes those three shots over 90 per cent of the time.
"That's what I think you have to tell the juniors these days: the first three shots are vital and look at Rafa can do and that is one of the reasons he is just so consistent."
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