Nadal News 2.0

DSH

G.O.A.T.
Nadal's great evolution: less explosiveness, more resources
Francis Roig, coach of the Balearic Islands, reveals the improvement in his strokes from Roland Garros in 2005 to Roland Garros in 2020

Since Sunday, the car day that consecrated Rafael Nadal as the greatest among the greats, it is almost impossible not to find an image of that irreverent tennis player with hair, pirate pants and a green tank top who turned Paris upside down in 2005 , year of his first Roland Garros. Fifteen seasons later, the Spaniard continues to win in France, but he does it in another way, a player completely evolved and reconverted by the demands of the script, so perfectionist that he is always looking for things to improve. «Rafa has shown that he is capable of adapting to anything. He has gained in height, at sea level .... », Carlos Moyà always says, who gave a turn to the Mallorcan's day-to-day life when, in 2017, he replaced Toni Nadal on the bench. “He was humble enough to realize his weakness or what he could improve. And that's the key. We had been telling him for a year that his service had to be better, but he was reluctant to change anything, "explained the technician shortly after taking over. New dynamics and new proposals.

"It is part of his greatness, there is not a day in which he does not ask us to work this or that to be a better tennis player, he is a unique competitor", says Francis Roig on the other end of the phone. Roig, coach of the 20 Grand Slams champion, remembers and tells ABC how the main blows have changed from yesterday's Nadal to today, from the Nadal of 19 springs to the Nadal of 34 autumns. In essence, now he lacks the physical power of before, but, on the contrary, he has many more tools to solve unexpected situations. “Smart has always been. It is less explosive, obviously due to age, but it has more resources and more sensations than before. Only in this way is it understood that he continues to collect trophies, there are already 86.

More versatile forehand.
"There are many things to highlight, but the main thing is that it is less repetitive", introduces Roig. «Before, he played more backhand and, based on repetitions, he wanted to wear down the opponent. Today's is more versatile. I don't say better, I say more versatile. There is a lot of talk about his forehand down the line, but now he is able to play more as a left-handed man, change more speeds, enter the court better ... Before he was like a hammer. Pum, pum, pum, pum until exhausting the rival ». It goes without saying that the forehand is essential for Nadal to feel that he dominates the point, it is his stroke of confidence.

Much improved backhand.
"Much improved," Roig says without hesitation. “Let's see, it's also much more versatile. Before, the ball flew over the opponent's corridor. It must also be said that most of the shots were left in the middle of the court. Today he plays the short angle more, not always shooting so hard. He is slower, the ball comes out easier, he supports more with the weight in front. It changes the heights more, especially in the parallel, and it fits very well ». Roig stops and asks for something to be highlighted: «He has a great slice. I think that in the final against Djokovic he played the best game of his life with the slice. He has gained feeling and is able to build with the slice. Before it was a resource that he used when he was afraid, "says his coach, who insists a lot on that blow in every work session. And there is also the crossed backhand. If you don't open the court to the right ... You have to play on the court and that means the ball has to run. His rivals, now, run much more than before. I could say that today he hits the court better with the backhand than with the forehand, "he adds.

The serve as a weapon.
«It has had a very good evolution, you just have to look at the speeds. The most important thing is that it gives the feeling that right now it is a weapon for him. Before, the objective was to put a lot of first ones and that they did not attack him much ", accepts Roig. Nadal is not a big server, but he has a more than worthy service. “Obviously, he can improve, but he does much better than before. And with the second the same, the speed has gone up one pass.

Margin on the net.
Roig believes that here you can get more from Nadal. «Rafa dominates the net well. The volley can be improved, it's true. But there has been evolution and his footwork on the net is the best I've seen. He has room for execution, but he works hard on it. He has infinitely better service in the box than when he won in Paris in 2005.

More aggressive return

“It has much more ability to return in front than before. Not only does he return back, he also takes a step forward and touches the ball better while in front, the ball does not float so much. His gesture is much better. When he's in the back, amazing as always. In short, it is a much more dynamic game.

Quality of movements
"It is one of the keys, it is everything", exclaims Roig, very graphic in his examples. «There is much less wear and tear. Rafa has traded fast scrolling for quality scrolling. Not because you are fast you have to move well and not because you are slow you have to move badly. You have to do it with sense and criteria, in a coordinated way. If you arrive well, you help yourself with the movement. Rafa, nowadays, moves great. He is less fast, but he moves better.

Privileged mind

Here is the main difference between Nadal and the rest of mortals. That doesn't change. I have seen many generations that have been fading. Regardless of the physical, the fundamental aspect to continue there is the mental. The more times you play, the more scared the players are. You go through bad situations, insecurities ... And he is a person who has proven to be a phenomenon. Well, he had that slump between 2014 and 2015, but nothing more. Being at this age as you are ... Either you are on your head, or you cannot bear this demand ».

 

bolo

G.O.A.T.
Drawing from the memory banks, this final reminded me of Sampras/Agassi Wimbledon 1999 in terms of storyline and result.

Rafa started the match at the 2-0 5th set 2013 FO SF level in terms of offense.......amazing to watch.
 

K-H

Hall of Fame
Man that backhand was on fire. Throughout the tournament, but especially in the final. Everyone tried to take him off the court by paying short angles to the BH. And he just ripped it CC for a winner. Djokovic literally couldn't go there too often because he kept getting burnt.

I hope he brings that sort of aggressive backhand to the rest of the season or even to the new season. Bullets from both wings. Cant stretch him on that side with shots like that coming back.
 
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Rabin

Semi-Pro
The 13th replica of the Coupe des Mousquetaires trophy (English: The Musketeers' Trophy) has arrived at Rafa's museum.
I've seen that display plenty of times and somehow never noticed how tiny the replica for RG is. Damn. Would it kill them to make it a little bigger? USO and W have the right idea. Are those replicas or is one made every year that is then given to the champion?
 

octobrina10

Talk Tennis Guru
I've seen that display plenty of times and somehow never noticed how tiny the replica for RG is. Damn. Would it kill them to make it a little bigger? USO and W have the right idea. Are those replicas or is one made every year that is then given to the champion?
In 2017, Rafa was given a full-size copy of the FO trophy with all 10 of his Roland Garros titles engraved.
Toni holds the original Coupe des Mousquetaires while Rafa poses with the copy:

 

vernonbc

Legend
Poor Rafa. He's always had such problems with his knees. :( He didn't say anything during the tournament but now it's coming out that this year was particularly bad. He's accomplished so much even with his problems. Imagine what he would have done with a healthy body! :eek:

Enlarge this picture and you can see marks where probably he had anesthetic injections to freeze his knees so he could play.

In an interview with COPE, Rafael Nadal says he has suffered a lot in recent months. The conditions in Paris did not help him. He won the most difficult Roland-Garros according to him.

“I can only thank life for being able to continue to devote myself to what I love most. I went through difficult times in this edition because my body does not respond well to the cold. I have joint problems and my body has been really bad for months. I went weeks without being able to train for more than an hour a day and the cold hurts a lot. It was the most difficult conditions for me, ”said the man with 20 Grand Slam titles.


 

clayqueen

Talk Tennis Guru
Poor Rafa. He's always had such problems with his knees. :( He didn't say anything during the tournament but now it's coming out that this year was particularly bad. He's accomplished so much even with his problems. Imagine what he would have done with a healthy body! :eek:

Enlarge this picture and you can see marks where probably he had anesthetic injections to freeze his knees so he could play.

In an interview with COPE, Rafael Nadal says he has suffered a lot in recent months. The conditions in Paris did not help him. He won the most difficult Roland-Garros according to him.

“I can only thank life for being able to continue to devote myself to what I love most. I went through difficult times in this edition because my body does not respond well to the cold. I have joint problems and my body has been really bad for months. I went weeks without being able to train for more than an hour a day and the cold hurts a lot. It was the most difficult conditions for me, ”said the man with 20 Grand Slam titles.


Oh dear!

So glad he was able to overcome it. That's why he indicated that he probably won't play the WTF.
 

vernonbc

Legend
An excellent interview with His Excellency Don Rafael Nadal Parera. :)

Rafa On 'The Greatest' Debate: 'Analyse It When Our Careers Are Over'

Spaniard speaks to ATPTour.com after winning his 13th Roland Garros title

The morning after winning his 13th Roland Garros trophy and equalling Roger Federer’s record haul of 20 Grand Slam crowns, Rafael Nadal had a lot of things to do and very little time.

So, after a brief photo session on the terrace of his hotel with the Coupe des Mousquetaires, the Spaniard climbed into a car to the airport for his flight home and gave an interview to ATPTour.com over a Zoom video call. Nadal spoke in Spanish and his answers have been translated.

This is Nadal with his guard down, a tennis player talking openly and transparently.

Have you stamped your authority by winning the title in Paris again, but this time in very unfavourable conditions?
Stamping my authority is not really my thing. I played a very good tournament given the conditions, taking steps forward every day. I played the perfect match when I had to in the final. Simply, every day I played well enough to win the matches.

Did you think that maybe you wouldn’t win this year?
Every time I come to Paris I don’t think I’m going to win. I arrive excited that I might do it, but knowing that the most logical outcome is that I don’t. Winning is not normal, and I am always very aware of that. As I said from the first day, this year was the most adverse Roland Garros I have played in, first because of the conditions and second because my preparation was practically non-existent in terms of tournaments.

Where did the plan come from to approach the final against Djokovic in that way?
My last match on clay with him was in Rome last year. There I was coming out of a very bad spell and I played very well. I used that as a kind of reference. We went out with a more or less clear idea of what we wanted to do. And then the more complicated part came: putting it into practice. Luckily, yesterday was one of those days when I was able to do it. My tennis game was feeling really good and everything worked perfectly.

From the first day, and despite losing in the quarter-finals in Rome, your surroundings added weight to an interesting message: the big difference between the Foro Italico and Court Philippe-Chatrier.
In Rome, I have won nine times, the venue also suits me very well. Chatrier is a very difficult court, very big. You have some huge dimensions there. However, there is one intangible thing. When you’ve played very well many times in one place, it’s easier to do it. There’s extra belief in yourself, and that has a decisive influence.

After winning the final, you said that you’d been through some ‘difficult months’. What were you talking about?
On a social level, we’ve been living with continuous problems. On a personal level, it’s a reality that after the lockdown I went through a bad time, my body did not respond in the best way possible. I had a lot of days where I could only train very little, with unpleasant feelings in my body. All of that, together with training without clear goals, makes the problem worse.

What did you do to overcome that?
I had the right people by my side. They pushed me when necessary and they gave me the freedom to enjoy other things when I really needed to. We’ve had to make difficult decisions, like not going to New York. Everything is good or bad based on the final result. Right now, it seems like it was successful because I won at Roland Garros, if I had lost maybe it wouldn’t have been so good. That’s the reality of sport, a totally result-based world. The decisions were made consensually, analysing everything. Beyond the result, personally, I’m very happy with the steps we took.

How has what is going on in the world affected you?
I’ve been more subdued than normal, but that’s a general feeling throughout the world. We’re in a sad situation. You can’t share moments with people you’d like to. Everything is less pleasant and you cannot remove yourself from the things that are going on in the world, also knowing that we are back in a complicated situation in Spain. It is normal to suffer because of what’s happening. There have been other pandemics in the past, but in recent history we have not been through one. Even so, I’ve been focused and had the necessary attitude when required. It’s the thing I am most satisfied about in the whole tournament.

And the bubble? You’ve been locked in it with Carlos Moya and Rafael Maymo for more than two weeks.
Personally, I find it harder than they do. I’m a person who prefers being with people more. Carlos has always had the ability to get by on his own, as has Rafa. For me it’s a little harder. The days have seemed longer to me than to them, but we’ve rediscovered things that we had forgotten. It’d been three years since I’d picked up a PlayStation controller, and we played it a lot with each other. We’ve also been reading all the latest news and watching the odd series to kill time.

Was it difficult to play without fans?
At least here there was an atmosphere, compared to Rome. Yesterday, there were people in the final for the first time. My family and team were in my box. That changed the perspective of everything a little. In Rome, the whole court was empty, a much more difficult situation.

Are you overwhelmed by the response to your victory?
I don’t know what it’s been like because I’ve barely had the chance to look at anything. On a sporting level, it’s clear that I’ve achieved something significant: winning one of the most important tournaments in the world 13 times and equalling Federer with 20. We’ve been talking about this for a long time, particularly you journalists. I’ve managed to equal a record that seemed impossible.

So, can it now be said openly that you are the best in history?
The numbers should be analysed by people who have good knowledge of the history of tennis. Honestly, it doesn’t matter to me much. I’m happy with my career. At the moment, it’s clear that I’m one of the two. We’ll see what happens in the next few years: what Djokovic does, what Federer does when he returns and what I keep doing. If all goes well, we’ll have time to analyse it when our careers are over.

Federer was one of the first to congratulate you.
Federer and I have had a very good relationship for many years. We have great admiration for one another. We’ve shared many of the most important moments of our careers competing against one another to the point of creating a rivalry that has surpassed the boundaries of tennis. We value it and appreciate it in a special way. Tying him at 20 means a lot, it’s a great honour. It’s a wonderful thing.

Can one have a good relationship despite competing for the same thing?
As always, you have to put things into perspective a little. We’re playing tennis, nothing more. Life is more pleasant when you have a good relationship with your rivals. Going into the locker room with a positive atmosphere, talking to others, it makes life more enjoyable at tournaments than if you have extreme rivalries.

With 20 Grand Slams, what’s left to win?
To keep enjoying daily life. In the end, I’m a lucky person. Life has smiled upon me so far. I don’t know what is left for me to win, but the excitement is in continuing to move forward. If you don’t have that enthusiasm it’s time to dedicate yourself to something else. As long as I have it, I have to keep working hard every day to keep giving myself chances of competing at the highest level.

Before your opener in Rome, in 2014, you said that Bjorn Borg’s head was gone at 26, despite being an exceptional champion. What do you do to keep that flame burning at 34?
Like everyone, I’ve had some good times and some bad, times of enthusiasm and times of disillusion, above all when there were more physical issues than normal. I’ve been lucky to have a fantastic environment around me, a family and a team that have been with me throughout my career. I have a stable personality, I’m not overexcited when things go well, and nor am I excessively negative when they go wrong. That helps me to experience things with peace of mind in order to continue. In the end, it all comes down to something simpler: the passion you are born with.

What do you feel like doing when you get to Mallorca?
Getting back into normal life a little. Returning home and having the feeling of freedom. Going to play golf, visiting the academy... Living a life a little more normal than these past 20 days and seeing people that I haven’t been able to during this whole time.

What’s left for you in 2020?
Today more than ever, decisions have to be taken calmly, analysing all the situations well. I need a little time to know what my schedule will be.

https://www.atptour.com/en/news/nadal-r ... on-q-and-a
 

clayqueen

Talk Tennis Guru
Poor Rafa. He's always had such problems with his knees. :( He didn't say anything during the tournament but now it's coming out that this year was particularly bad. He's accomplished so much even with his problems. Imagine what he would have done with a healthy body! :eek:

Enlarge this picture and you can see marks where probably he had anesthetic injections to freeze his knees so he could play.

In an interview with COPE, Rafael Nadal says he has suffered a lot in recent months. The conditions in Paris did not help him. He won the most difficult Roland-Garros according to him.

“I can only thank life for being able to continue to devote myself to what I love most. I went through difficult times in this edition because my body does not respond well to the cold. I have joint problems and my body has been really bad for months. I went weeks without being able to train for more than an hour a day and the cold hurts a lot. It was the most difficult conditions for me, ”said the man with 20 Grand Slam titles.


Do you have the link to the COPE interview?
 

Rabin

Semi-Pro
Poor Rafa. He's always had such problems with his knees. :( He didn't say anything during the tournament but now it's coming out that this year was particularly bad. He's accomplished so much even with his problems. Imagine what he would have done with a healthy body! :eek:

Enlarge this picture and you can see marks where probably he had anesthetic injections to freeze his knees so he could play.
Holy sh*** Well. This might put his "sluggishness" during the tournament into context. He probably can't have the injection every time he plays for health reasons, only for the really important ones like the final. That might be where the extra step came from, he's playing without severe pain. Man, I feel so awful for him. Cold conditions are hellish on compromised joints. Ugh. What a freaking champion for suffering through all of this and still gifting us that performance.
 
Drawing from the memory banks, this final reminded me of Sampras/Agassi Wimbledon 1999 in terms of storyline and result.

Rafa started the match at the 2-0 5th set 2013 FO SF level in terms of offense.......amazing to watch.
Blast from the past. Undisputed GOAT
 

JustMy2Cents

Professional
How are u watching the full match? I wanna see it.

Available at:
ENJOY
 

octobrina10

Talk Tennis Guru
Rafa Nadal Academy in Manacor
Rafa Nadal Sports Centre in Manacor

The RN Academy is part of the RN Sports Centre

Antonio Arenas, the director of communications at Rafa's academy, posted a picture of himself and Rafa, holding the 13th RG trophy replica at Rafa's museum:
http://instagr.am/p/CGYG75lg8HW/
A.Arenas also works as a commentator for Eurosport's Spanish-language channel during Grand Slam tournaments. Here, he (far left) is pictured sitting in the Eurosport Spain studio during the 2020 French Open:
http://instagr.am/p/CGIlFywgkvx/
Rafa with Alex Corretja and Antonio Arenas in the Eurosport Spain studio in New York after the 2019 US Open final:
http://instagr.am/p/CE6U2A8A7nC/
;)
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
Available at:
ENJOY
Slaaaayyy
 

pedro94

Rookie
https://www.firstpost.com/sports/novak-djokovic-wants-to-play-two-more-tournaments-till-end-of-season-8918511.html

Looks like Djokovic will only play Vienna and WTF to finish the season. As a consequence, Rafa playing Paris masters seems pretty tempting to me as his fan. No Djokovic and Federer in the draw, who are better indoor players and with Zverev possibly the biggest threats for Rafa if he played there.

I know Rafa will be tempted to shut down his season and go all out at the AO. But Paris and WTF are only 2 weeks of play (with one week of rest inbetween) and they're in November, which gives him plenty of time to rest after RG and plenty of time before AO (from 22nd November until 18th January that's more than a month and a half). Rafa has played only 26 matches all year, it's not like he's burned out and needs rest. This is the freshest he's ever been for the tail end of a season, and imo the best chance for him to finally win WTF. Could play Paris Masters as a tune up for London to give him the best preparation and form. It's also probably his best chance to win Paris Masters with an outside chance of winning Miami in the future to complete his masters collection (which is a huge achievement, let's not pretend it isn't).
 
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weakera

G.O.A.T.
https://www.firstpost.com/sports/novak-djokovic-wants-to-play-two-more-tournaments-till-end-of-season-8918511.html

Looks like Djokovic will only play Vienna and WTF to finish the season. As a consequence, Rafa playing Paris masters seems pretty tempting to me as his fan. No Djokovic and Federer in the draw, who are better indoor players and with Zverev possibly the biggest threats for Rafa if he played there.

I know Rafa will be tempted to shut down his season and go all out at the AO. But Paris and WTF are only 2 weeks of play (with one week of rest inbetween) and they're in November, which gives him plenty of time to rest after RG and plenty of time before AO (from 22nd November until 18th January that's more than a month and a half). Rafa has played only 26 matches all year, it's not like he's burned out and needs rest. This is the freshest he's ever been for the tail end of a season, and imo the best chance for him to finally win WTF. Could play Paris Masters as a tune up for London to give him the best preparation and form. It's also probably his best chance to win Paris Masters with an outside chance of winning Miami in the future to complete his masters collection (which is a huge achievement, let's not pretend it isn't).
I enjoy seeing him play but it seems unlikely. He has played Paris just 4x since 2009.
 
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