By trying, it will not be. It is the consolation of Cameron Norrie, denied every time he tries to open the door of the game, sheared over and over again until he ends up bowing and finally falls to the ground on the land of the Lenglen because Rafael Nadal, the almighty Nadal of Paris, does not want dilate and want to reach the eighth spot immaculate. This is how he does it: triple 6-3, in 2h 07m. That is, not a single scratch, not a single scratch. Full set-up. Now, the challenge is called Yannik Sinner, the tower that committed him at dawn in last year’s edition. The boy, a steel-frame bomber who hits the right hand as well as the backhand, has grown a lot. Careful.
After two rather pleasant first rounds, Nadal again ran into the British Norrie, a fighter left-hander who offered no greater resistance; good test bench, then, to continue raising the tone and polishing imperfections in the face of Alps of this Roland Garros in which almost nobody gives in: Stefanos Tstistipas is still there, the wheel to follow on the other side of the painting; there Novak Djokovic goes, without scares so far and sign this Saturday against Ricardas Berankis (6-1, 6-4 and 6-1 to Ricardas Berankis); Roger Federer also responds, quoted tonight with Dominik Koepfer losing his rust day by day; and breaks into the next scale Sinner, a threat more than real.
Only Dominic Thiem has taken off the hook, with whom little was counted this year because the Austrian’s morale is on the ground. The rest, fixed gear. Of course, sets the pace, who else, Nadal, who will land in the eighth without having given up any set and links 31 consecutive wins in his spring retirement from Paris. This time he intervened in the Suzanne Lenglen, also renovated, flirtatious and perfect to check the volcanic exercise of the Spanish because the dimensions are very different from those of the Chatrier and the fan can almost caress the tennis player. And, you know, he has never lost on that track.
It was another afternoon of filming, which together with the solvency previously demonstrated against Popyrin and Gasquet allows us to draw the conclusion that Nadal (35 years old) carburetes well at this point, in an ascending line. There are no blots or lapses, but good work and hierarchy. Ante Norrie (25 years and 45º in the ranking) only had to fix a small bump in the second set. The Briton took the serve from him a couple of times, but with each challenge he received a stronger slap in the face. Nothing to regret. Once the set-up phase has been completed, a Tourmalet called Sinner (6-1, 7-5 and 6-3 to Mikael Ymer). And Nadal, of course, keeps pulling the squad.