Patrick Mouratoglou

  • Since the
    start of the year, there's been a big change in the top five of men's tennis. The
    undeniable number one is now Novak Djokovic - whatever the rankings say for the
    moment.

    He has
    become one of the two major contenders for the French Open, which begins this
    weekend.

    Rafael Nadal

    There are
    no arguments that Djokovic has dominated tennis this year - nobody can deny it,
    simply because nobody has beaten him. He has beaten Rafael Nadal four times
    this year - twice on the hard courts of Indian Wells and Miami, and twice on
    the clay of Madrid and Rome.

    To see
    Nadal lose on a fast surface is

    Read More »from Nadal faces biggest French Open challenge yet
  • Phase 2: The Quest for Wimbledon
    (2005-2008)

    Having won his first Roland Garros at 19 years of age, the young Rafa craved
    new achievements. His next ambition was Wimbledon - the tournament no one
    thought he could win. There were two main obstacles: the technical aspects of
    his clay game were not suited to grass, and the domination of Roger Federer on
    this surface, a man with all the technical and tactical weapons needed to master
    it.

    Nadal took three years to win Wimbledon in 2008, during which time he
    hugely changed his technique to become more efficient. His No.1 rival Federer -
    who won the

    Read More »from The evolution of Rafael Nadal: Part 2
  • Rafael
    Nadal has always sought to adjust his game to adapt to different conditions,
    and that is why he is a great champion.

    This mental
    strength has seen him achieve things that no one believed he could, through
    masterfully turning around tough situations.

    Physically,
    Rafa boasts amazing court coverage and endurance. Nothing seems to surprise
    him. He always strikes the ball with great power while the rotation speed has
    been measured as the fastest ever.

    He
    always finds new challenges, new ways to compete: tennis, golf, football or
    video games, everything he touches immediately turns into a

    Read More »from The evolution of Rafael Nadal: Part 1

  • As soon
    as Madrid finishes, Rome begins. I want to take a look at how the French Open
    hopes of the players are being affected by the tournaments.

    Robin Soderling
    - Crisis of doubt

    Robin
    Soderling has improved a lot in the last three seasons, is a solid member of
    the top five and a double finalist at Roland Garros. However he has lacked
    efficiency in the last few months without coach Magnus Norman.

    I was
    surprised when the man who succeeded in transforming this gifted but easily-angered
    player into a calm, serious trainer was allowed to move on. And I
    was even more surprised when I heard who

    Read More »from Hesitating Murray needs strong coach
  • In Miami we were lucky to witness a great final which will surely be replicated one day in a Grand Slam finale. Nadal versus Djokovic - the two fittest players on the ATP Tour and both with a great fighting spirit and mental toughness.

    If the Serbian's victory over the Spaniard at Indian Wells was surprising to many - even to Rafa - the one in Miami possessed a very different taste as the world number two controlled the points.

    This is a true revolution: if we cannot yet talk about a changing of the guard, the Spaniard will have to closely analyse those two defeats and formulate a gameplan to

    Read More »from How Djokovic dominated Nadal
  • The Madrid Masters starts this week and will be quickly followed by the
    Rome Masters.

    We're in the home straight for the French Open and these two
    Masters tournaments are going to give us a better idea about who is in the best
    shape to win this second Grand Slam of the year.

    Let's start with a look at the Rafael Nadal versus Novak Djokovic
    battle.

    Everybody is waiting for this duel between Djokovic, the most
    impressive guy of this start of the season, and Nadal, who is still the boss on
    clay having won back-to-back titles in Monte Carlo
    and Barcelona.

    The Serb was smart to avoid facing Rafa

    Read More »from What can Madrid and Rome teach us?
  • The shipwreck of France and the Fed Cup

    Sunday April 17 2011 will go down as a sad day after the French Fed Cup Team left the World Group for the first time ever.

    It was bound to happen after so many years of having to go to the play-offs - but remains a huge disappointment.
    I have had enough of France always putting principles before efficiency. Principles are important in sport and should be respected, but only if - at this level of the game - they lead to results.

    If we were guided by a culture of winning, we would not be in this position now. And I have only heard excuses, outlined below, from the staff; in no way will this

    Read More »from The shipwreck of France and the Fed Cup
  • Can Federer return to the very top?

    After Roger
    Federer lost in straight sets in the ATP Dubai final against Novak Djokovic, can
    we now consider the Swiss a player in terminal decline?

    We looked
    forward to watching this match as the Serbian has been on an upward trajectory since
    his Davis Cup and Australian Open triumphs. On the other hand, the Swiss's form
    is dropping off. Everybody is now speaking of a changing of the guard at the
    top of the rankings, and the next battles between the two players will be
    scrutinised heavily.

    Federer's
    excellent mindset achieved last summer has been absent since the start of 2011,
    while if

    Read More »from Can Federer return to the very top?
  • Women’s game lacks focus

    It was great to see Maria Sharapova reach the final in Miami, before losing to
    Victoria Azarenka in quite comfortable straight sets.

    I went to watch Sharapova play recently
    in Indian Wells, when she thrashed Aravane Rezai 6-2 6-2, and was struck by two
    things: how electrifyingly she was beating people in the early rounds, but also
    the relative weakness of her game.

    She's still young but after suffering
    from lots of injuries, including undergoing right shoulder surgery, she doesn't
    give me the impression that she still makes tennis a top priority.

    It may sound weird to talk about the
    weakness

    Read More »from Women’s game lacks focus
  • Indian Wells: What we learned

    Indian Wells gave us some interesting insights into the state of the men's game.

    - Roger Federer's decline

    Even if the Swiss denies it in front of the press, and refuses to talk about a change of the guard, Indian Wells confirmed this year's trend - Roger's game is declining.

    This is absolutely not to deny what a huge champion he is, but to look at the situation with a cool and clear head.

    Although he has maintained a high enough level to reach at least the semi-finals of the main tournaments, there are flaws in his game that make him vulnerable against the likes of Nadal, Djokovic and Murray.

    Read More »from Indian Wells: What we learned