Rafael Nadal meets Yannick Hanfmann for the first time (Image: GETTY)Hanfmann came through qualifying to take his place in the main draw and has been handed arguably the toughest test in sport - beating Nadal at the French Open.Nadal played 88 matches at Roland Garros and lost just twice.He has never been beaten in the first round and won 16 matches in a row since 2015.
But Hanfmann is in confident mood ahead of his first meeting with the 11-time champion. Related articles
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Rafael Nadal: French Open projected draw revealed And the German feels he has the game to trouble Nadal.“I have been playing well.
I’ve got a big game, I’ve won all six sets I’ve played (in qualifying), I’m definitely feeling comfortable here,” Hanfmann said.“So if my serve and return works, I can definitely do some damage.“I won’t go into the match thinking I’ve no chance because that would be stupid.
I’ll have a match plan ready.
Rafael Nadal is the 11-time champion at the French Open (Image: REUTERS)“I’ll know a lot about him - and maybe he doesn’t know as much about me.”Despite his confidence, Hanfmann did reveal he had mixed feelings about being drawn with Nadal when he learned of the pairing while out in Paris with his sister.
“I realised straight away that as the main draw for all the qualifiers was being made around that time, it could only mean one thing,” Hanfmann said.“And when I checked, sure enough. Related articles
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Roger Federer is delaying retirement to stop Djokovic and Nadal “[I had] a bit of mixed feelings.
Of course, I wasn’t really happy with the draw overall but, on the other hand, it’s an unbelievable experience that’s coming towards me.“Yes, the ultimate test in tennis - this and beating Roger (Federer) on Centre Court at Wimbledon.“It is a privilege but I can’t afford to make the match too big in my mind.
. If I do, I won’t be able to play really well.“It won’t be easy - but I’ll try to keep it laid-back.”..