It is midday in Paris and
against the soles of his shoes resonate throughout the center, where the few attendees, no more than 500, even fewer starters, enjoy a
unimaginable in other times.
Down there, the 19 majors champion also enjoys because he finds what is necessary to execute what was required: sharpen the
, measure the new ball and polish the automatisms.
A perfect set-up.
Mackenzie McDonald, another of those Americans allergic to brick dust, is an expert in candy and gives her all the nutrients her game demanded, so she wins (6-1, 6-0 and 6-3, in 1h 40m) and Placidly progress to the third round.
The victory says that Nadal has done well and that, perhaps even more important in the present, he continues to gain time and, consequently, margin of adaptation for the complex challenge of safeguarding his territory in this autumn edition of Roland Garros.
As was the case two days ago, the weather is benign.
The roof of the Chatrier is open and the thick blanket of clouds that covers the city contains the water and in passing softens the temperature, relatively pleasant this time, 15 degrees.
And the Balearic, in azure blue and garish coral, invokes spring and enters the track in that almost familiar atmosphere to roll and spark off the bath and massage session that the apathetic McDonald proposes.
The boy (25 years old and 236th in the
) has a similar gait to Fabio Fognini's, rather lazy.
He has an impossible in front of him, but he accepts the punishment without question and is fitting
and games without rebelling in the least.
And he also has a grim memory of Paris, where last season he suffered a major right hamstring injury that sent him into reserve for the rest of the season.
Let this end quickly, well, he says to himself while Nadal insists without forgetting - except for the basket that he throws when he deposits one of his towels and that, oops! Then he picks up - and tastes his prey shaking it from side to side, right goes right comes.
Despite the intimacy of the moment, the Mallorcan does not lose a point of concentration.
His father Sebastià and his sister Maribel joined his box, separated by two seats and happy to see the good performance of the Balearic, engrossed in his laboratory work, from rehearsal to rehearsal.
If you are interested, go deeper, if you are interested, attract the rival to throw the
, and if it suits you, stretch the rally for that reason to tame the ill-loved Wilson that opens the tournament this year.
Although it is not raining and the sand is fine, soaked by humidity but more than suitable, the ball weighs and bounces little, demands, so its winners (31) do not describe effects and travel flat towards the angles.
, but the twists resist.
It touches to conform.
In such circumstances, practical solutions.
In the end, Nadal solves accurately and as he imposed himself, he takes out his fangs: seven hits in eight break opportunities and 13 in his 16 approaches to the net.
Meanwhile, McDonald's statistic chart, only three wins on clay throughout his career, says it all: he does not make a single
and breaks down with both the first (45%) and the second (40%) serves. .
In this way, the one from Manacor complies with the roadmap, lands comfortably at the next stop, in front of Kei Nishikori or the Italian Stefano Travaglia, and continues to gain momentum on the ramp of the first week.
Sweet noon in Paris.