Nadal dismissed Goffin in the third while his fans are still upset about him playing on Lenglen in the second.

Rafael Nadal, after the second round relegation to Suzanne Lenglen, was back on the show court, Philippe Chatrier, at Roland Garros in the third round against David Goffin.


Much had been made by Nadal’s fans about him playing in Lenglen in the second round.

Rafael Nadal’s fans were a little upset at the disrespect shown to their hero by Roland Garros in the second round match against Maden. Nadal, after all, owns an unprecedented 11 French Open titles, compared to just one by Roger Federer, yet the the powers, that may be, preferred Federer – over Nadal – on Philip Chatrier!

With Rafa’s return on Philip Chatrier, the order was finally restored for Nadal’s fans.


Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal

Roger Federer pulls the maximum crowd even at Roland Garros!

Nadal’s fans, however, overlooked the fact that even the French Open, at the very core, is still a business and the preferred timing and show court allocation is decided on the basis of the crowd-pulling abilities of the players.

Roger Federer remains the maximum crowd-puller by far at the 2019 Roland Garros. Allocating the best time and court to Roger Federer, therefore, is purely a business decision which the French Open must make.



Nadal’s clay-court credentials were unchallenged in the first two rounds.

Rafael Nadal had a mild let down and dropped a set against David Goffin in the third round at the 2019 Roland Garros. Nadal had lost only 13 games in his last two matches. He demolished the German qualifier Yannick Maden, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4, in the second, and dismantled Yannick Hanfmann 6-2, 6-1, 6-3, in the opening round.

Nadal looked imperious and unbeatable in his earlier rounds and was 88-2 at the French Open before meeting David Goffin in the third. Nadal’s clay-court credentials, for all intents and purposes, remained unchallenged in the first two rounds of the event.


Rafael Nadal

Rafa overpowered David Goffin in the first two sets.

Nadal had to up the ante and bring out his A game against the talented David Goffin. Goffin is no Soderling in height and build, but the kid sure knows his tennis.

Nadal, however, came out of the shed with both guns blazing and pushed Goffin behind the baseline with his heavy ground shots. David seemed like a light-weight boxer pitted against the heavy weight champ in the earlier rounds. Rafael Nadal manhandled David Goffin in the first two sets and even managed to mix things up nicely with a few approaches to the net. Nadal has certainly improved his transition game over the course of the clay court season.


David Goffin

David Goffin played ultra-aggressive to win the third against Rafa.

In the third set, however, Goffin found the range on his ground shots and moved in a little to take Rafa’s balls early and neutralize the spin on Nadal’s ground-shots. He was also able to crack his excellent backhand to wrest some amazing points off Nadal and challenge the King of Clay on his turf. Goffin played aggressive, cut down on the error count, and capitalized on one of the break-point opportunities to win the third set.


Goffin’s lack of physical strength makes sustained aggression impossible, for him, on the clay.

Goffin’s, super-aggressive, take the ball on the rise strategy is undoubtedly the blue-print for success against Nadal, but to maintain such a strategy over five sets on the clay requires tremendous physical strength. David Goffin’s lack of physical strength and frail build makes sustained aggression, over five sets, quite impossible on the clay. He lost the plot in the fourth, and Nadal played with even more intensity than before to move into the fourth with a 6-1, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 win over David Goffin.


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