Mats Wilander: Nadal is unbeatable on clay in five sets
(Mat's is for sure... the biggest fan of Nadal)
As tennis expert for TV channel Eurosport, former World No.1 Mats Wilander still follows the tennis circuit closely, commentating the four Grand Slam tournaments for TV channel Eurosport. During his brilliant career, the Swede won seven major titles (3 Australian Open, 3 French Open and US Open) and the Wimbledon doubles crown. Reaching him over the phone in South Africa, he analyzed the two top seeds (Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray) of next month’s Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell for our website.
The three time champion of the Trofeo Conde de Godó (now Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell) is sure that Spain’s Nadal is the hot favorite to claim his seventh Barcelona title this year. “Rafa is the king of clay. Winning six titles at one tournament is out of this world, an incredible achievement,” he told tournament organizers.
“Nadal is the man to beat at any clay-court tournament. He feels at home on the surface and runs a full marathon every match. I think that he is unbeatable on clay in five sets,” said Wilander.
Spain’s World No.2 could face second seed Murray in this year’s Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell final. The Scot is now coached by Wilander’s long term rival Ivan Lendl. “Andy is a great player and he definitely has a shot at any title. His decision to work with Lendl will definitely take him further. Now he needs to impress a former World No. 1 and not only his mother. Lendl will not be impressed by wins, he wants titles,” analyzed the tennis legend.
“It’s great that Rafa and Andy both play the tournament. It makes it exciting for the tennis fans in Barcelona. They would be happy about a close match and not just an easy win for Nadal,” he added.
Wilander was successful at the Real Club Tenis Barcelona in 1980, 81 and 82. Next to Nadal, he is only one of two players to win the tournament three consecutive times, although the Spaniard clinched five successive trophies.
The entire interview with Mats Wilander will be published in the Official Program of the 60th tournament anniversary, to be held from 21 to 29 April.