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Philippe Bowen, the historical journalist for Loquip, reflects a change in the attitude of the French public towards the man seeking his 14th title.

Nadal praised P's support
Nadal praised the people’s support.Jean Franোয়াois BadiasAP

There was a time, long ago, when fans of Roland Garros did not feel special appreciation for Rafael Nadal. “The people of Paris are very stupid. The French are upset about the victory of a Spaniard,” came his uncle Tony, then his coach, after his first three defeats on the track, against Robin Soderling, the eighth of 2009.

There were countless fans at the game who celebrated Philippe-Chatterjee by stumbling upon a player who had just tied three titles in a row and threatened to, as it were, prolong. IndefinitelyFacing the French Paniuri, the Spanish tradition of some tracks where Arantaxa Sanchez Vicario, Carlos Moy, Albert Costa and Juan Carlos Ferrero have consistently won, without the need to go back to the victories of Manolo Santana and Andres Gimeno who is now half a century old. “The attitude of the French public towards Rafa has changed because of the part he played in the great tennis show. When he arrived, fans saw him as a bad boy who wanted to hurt the French but, moreover, his favorite mascot: Roger Federer”, Philip Bowen, The newspaper’s historian L’Quip, who has covered more than 100 Grand Slam tournaments, told the newspaper.

“Now it’s up to the old king, the wounded, the wounded, near the end, who has to fight back against the wall, to survive against the ambitious, arrogant bad guys like Novak Djokovic, the new Lendl.” Things have changed, as Bowen noted. And they have done so in a radical way this year, as seen against Djokovic where the central defender was clearly on the side of the Spaniard, whom they constantly encouraged, though not hiding their rejection of the Serbian player.

Support against Djokovic

“The public has contributed a lot to turn the set around. 99.9% of the people present supported him and at the crucial moment lifted him up, helping him find strength,” journalist Sasa Ozmo wrote on Twitter, very close to the No. 1 in the world. , Refers to the fourth quarter, where nole He broke up and hit two balls in the tiebreaker to take the match to fifth place.

“Initially, another factor worked against him: the body. The French fell in love with Federer, the artist, and he was seen as a boxer, a kind of bully. His tank top made his shoulders look twice as big.” His jump on the net felt like a scary tactic. He was like Ray Sugar Leonard vs. Mike Tyson. “Bouin continues. “His muscles hid his talent.”

The interview that the 13-time champion of the tournament, Marion Bartoli, did on the pitch after the game could be seen as very emotional, repeatedly thanked for the support from the stand. “They probably know I won’t be here for many more years,” he told a news conference later, a feeling of sadness that has plagued his messages lately.

“I think that over the years, all these prejudices against Nadal, including the always baseless suspicion of doping, have disappeared because of his true personality, his naturalness, his kindness to everyone. I think people now respect Nadal. Even his style. More than that, his money and his fame, the fact that, unlike Djokovic, he has never changed. He’s a good tennis boy now. , Bowin finished.

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