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Jordan Thompson will come to terms with the futile task of victory in the “Kingdom of Rafah” French Open 2022


J.The Thompson Order will always be part of the world record in men’s tennis, preventing the emergence of a force of nature, even more formidable than the legendary “Big Three”. The problem for the Australian is that, becoming the 106th victim of Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros on Monday, he is now answering a tennis question.

Who was the unlucky opponent thrown on Thompson’s court under the “Kingdom of Rafa” brand on the day the Spaniard played 105 matches that Roger Federer won at Wimbledon? Answer Thompson, a Sydney resident with a mustache similar to the Nintendo Mario mascot.

Soft, no racket in hand, but wild competition, when on the field the Australian threw everything he had, the 21-time winner, but still failed.

In preparation for Saturday before his collision with the 13-time French Open champion, he swore, swore and gave everything away, constantly remembering the feeling of futility. No matter how well he played on Monday, his French Open will end at the Philippe Shatrie Stadium against Nadal, the greatest ground player in history.

It turned out to be a 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 loss of just over two hours. This was enough time to show that Nadal, who turns 36 on the day of the semifinals in Paris, is not at this stage prevented by a chronic foot problem that has re-emerged recently in Rome. It was also enough to once again demonstrate how difficult it is for opponents against the Spaniard at his favorite venue in the tournament, which he has lost just three times.

According to Thompson, Nadal’s confrontation on the court with Philip Shatrie is the most difficult test in tennis. The Davis Cup contestant of Australia started well, beating off the excellent forehand winner on the run after he was dragged from one side of the field to the other, which was for him the highest point in the match.

“I thought I was having trouble getting out there, and then, after that first point, I don’t know how I won, but I thought, ‘Damn.’ That’s what I have to do to win a point? ‘”He said.

Rafael Nadal was in power in his opening match at the 2022 French Open. Photo: Adam Pretty / Getty Images

About an hour later, he demonstrated a perfect illustration of what it feels like to play Nadal when he accidentally poses for a photo that quickly spread on social media. After an epic moment, the Sydney man stumbled into the net in disbelief, leaning on it in despair and resting his head on his forearm, pondering as soon as another point was asked.

Keeping the game point on his serve when lagging 6-2 and 2-0, he played a ripper rally. On the third throw, he hit the club down the line to make the Spaniard climb. With an open court, Thompson thundered from the forehand, which would have been too good for most players, but Nadal demonstrated incredible court coverage to reach it.

Thompson then repulsed the forehand back to the other side of the field and followed the ball into the net. It’s a logic game, given that Nadal had no right to be anywhere near to get it. Somehow Nadal deftly sliced ​​Thompson from the backhand and following that angle, Thompson’s so sharp lunge nearly catapulted him into the bar of the net from which he sought solace.

It was like a game against a brick wall. Or at least a human version of an old arcade pong game with a computer set to impenetrable mode.

“I remember looking at my camp and saying I struck one of the biggest forehand blows [’yet] it is back. I was hit by a volley. It came back even harder and I wasn’t even close to the ball, ”Thompson said. “I just looked up and thought, ‘I did everything I could, and still I wasn’t even close to winning that point.’ Sometimes you think, “What can I do?” And I’m not alone. “

A simple attempt to win a point against Nadal is exhausting when he is in the mood he was in on Monday. The dimensions of the central court at Roland Garros add a dimension of complexity. Each tennis court is 23.77 meters long and 10.97 meters wide. But some seem much bigger than others.

The Kingdom of Nadal in Paris is one, given the great distance between the lines and the sponsorship stocks, allowing it to stand farther than it would have been on more conventional touring courts. This gives more time to neutralize the opponent’s supply, as Thompson noted with regret, and makes him an even more formidable opponent.

“Probably. I made a couple of innings [and] on the back courts they would be in the side fence, and here they are even close to the side fence, ”he said. “He has a lot of space and that makes it even harder to get a free point … because he’s so far behind and the court is great.”

An hour of 13 minutes passed in the match, and the Australian finally broke away after missing a pass again when he missed a volley from the goal. He paused and took two steps before scoring the ball from the stadium, which is not a feat given the size of the grandstand of one of the world’s largest courts. It did not relieve stress.

“It’s just relentless pressure,” Thompson said.


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