'Bit of respect': Rafa Nadal dragged into spicy coach exchange

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·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
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Rafa Nadal (pictured) reacts during training.
Rafa Nadal's (pictured) coach Carlos Moya has hit back at coach Patrick Mouratoglou over his comments regarding the Spaniard's preparation for Roland Garros. (Getty Images)

The coach of Rafa Nadal has called for renowned tennis manager Patrick Mouratoglou to 'show some respect' after he appeared to doubt the Spaniard's chances at Roland Garros.

Nadal made a fine start in his return from injury, defeating Miomir Kecmanovic in straight sets to reach the third round at the Madrid Open.

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Nadal showed few signs of rustiness after being out of action for 45 days in his 6-1, 7-6 (7-4) opening win on home clay.

He cruised through the first set and recovered in the second after twice losing his serve following a rain interruption.

However, before the match, Mouratoglou - who has coached the likes of Serena Williams - had commented on Nadal's chances ahead of his Roland Garros push.

Nadal is a 13-time French Open champion and is considered the greatest clay court player of all time.

But, Mouratoglou doesn't appear to think Nadal is a favourite after returning from a rib injury.

Speaking on French Television, Mouratoglou said: "Nadal is going to play few games and it is very rare that he arrives in Paris with so few games. It will be strange for him."

"Despite his great start to the season, Nadal has always been a player who needed to play many matches. He is not going to arrive in his best shape at Roland-Garros.”

Coach Carlos Moya (pictured right) talking with Rafa Nadal (pictured left).
Coach Carlos Moya (pictured right) has jumped to the defence of Rafa Nadal (pictured left). (Photo By Irina R. Hipolito/Europa Press via Getty Images)

But former World No.1, and Nadal's coach, Carlos Moya reminded Mouratoglou of the Spaniard's unprecedented record.

"17 straight years in the top 10, [winning] Roland Garros 2020 after three matches in seven months, [winning] Australian Open 2022 after three matches in six months...a bit of respect and memory," Moya wrote on Twitter.

It's hard to argue against Moya's logic that Nadal and his team does know how to manage the Spaniard's injuries and workload before major tournaments.

However, many are also questioning whether the Spaniard will have time to get into peak condition ahead of the French Open.

Serena Williams (pictured right) speaking with coach Patrick Mouratoglou (pictured right) during training.
Coach Patrick Mouratoglou (pictued left) caught the attention of Rafa Nadal's coach, Carlos Moya. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

Rafa Nadal's football request heard at Madrid Open

Nadal returned from injury and showed little signs of rust as he defeated Kecmanovic on his favourite surface.

The victory lasted nearly two hours, but it was quick enough to allow Nadal to watch Real Madrid's extraordinary Champions League victory later on Wednesday night in the Spanish capital.

Tournament organisers said Nadal had asked to play in the afternoon so his match wouldn't coincide with Madrid's semi-final second leg match against Manchester City.

Nadal is a Madrid fan and on Saturday gave the ceremonial kick-off at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium before the team clinched the Spanish league title with a win against Espanyol.

The 21-time grand slam winner would have been ecstatic after Madrid proved once again they're this season's comeback kings in Europe after clinching an extraordinary 6-5 aggregate victory, to set up a Champions League final against Liverpool.

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