It's quite daunting to get Rafael Nadal as a first round opponent at Roland Garros for any player on tour; so imagine if you're 18 years old, and it's only the second ATP match of your career!!! That is how French teenager, Gianni Mina feels like ahead of his first round match against Nadal on Tuesday.
Mina, who made it to number one in the junior rankings a mere 2 months ago after reaching the Roland Garros juniors final last year as well as the US Open and Australian Open juniors semifinals, played his first ATP match in Nice last week (lost to Lukasz Kubot 5-7, 4-6).
The Guadeloupe native turned to French stars, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gael Monfils, who both managed to post victories over Nadal last year, for advice on how to handle his match against the King of Clay.
"I have spoken to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gael Monfils. They told me he (Nadal) will hit the ball hard at the beginning but I must not allow myself to be frightened. They say I must enjoy it but that will not be easy," said Mina.
I bet you Monfils or Tsonga would be a little scared if they were to play Nadal at Roland Garros this year, don't you think?? Best of luck to the "mini Monfils". Rarely does a player get to have his Grand Slam debut so early in his career and he should relish every moment of it.