Rafa Roundup: Why did Nadal criticize tennis balls in Indian Wells?

Billie Weiss/BNP Paribas Open
Billie Weiss/BNP Paribas Open

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He complained about the conditions and the poor quality of the tennis balls, but after an uneven start, Nadal beat Young 6-4, 6-2 to advance to the fourth round. The Nadal positives — efficient service games, slashing inside-out forehands — were in place, except for a high unforced error count, which he in part attributed to hard daytime conditions. After his win, Nadal said the felt as well as he has felt, a sign he is reaching some comfort with his game. Nadal will play Gilles Simon, who beat German Michael Berrer. Nadal, who has won this tournament three times and also in doubles in 2012, is alive in doubles, too.

“I’m happy to be in the fourth round,” said Nadal. “That’s positive news for me, winning two matches. Tomorrow I have a tough match against Simon. He’s tough; a good player. He started playing the season well. He’s a player that gives you a little bit more rhythm than Donald Young. Young played very aggressive today with strange mistakes, winners, so was not easy to manage how to play really the match.”

“Last year is 2014; we are in 2015,” said the third seed, who will face Gilles Simon for a spot in the quarter-finals. “We cannot think about what happened last year in every round and in every tournament. Every year is different.

“For me it was the first day I was able to play a match during the day, so the ball was much weaker,” he said. “With a normal ball during day and night there is differences, but with that ball is completely dramatic how the things change, no? That ball don’t have feelings. During the day especially the ball is very, like you are touching a stone. There is no feeling for the ball.”

Julian Finney/Getty Images
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Nadal, the three-time champion in Indian Wells, has been dominant in two victories. Against Simon, Nadal has a 6-1 advantage, but Simon’s one victory did come on hard courts. Simon had to go three sets to beat Malek Jaziri in the second round and beat Michael Berrer in straight sets.

«La carrera de tenis no es por 40 años. Cuando llegue esa fecha de caducidad va a quedar lo más importante: las amistades reales, el cariño de la familia y de los amigos. Sé que todo lo que ocurre a mi alrededor, algún día no va a pasar. Si sabes que las cosas empiezan y acaban, es más fácil de aceptar», añadió.

El número tres neutraliza el ritmo frenético del estadounidense Young (6-4 y 6-2) y accede a los octavos de Indian Wells, en los que se medirá al francés Simon (23.00, Cana+ Dep).

Tennis star Rafael Nadal will be the face of the latest campaign to promote Spanish food products in international markets, the Agriculture, Food and Environment Ministry confirmed Wednesday. The head of that portfolio, Isabel Garcia Tejerina, will launch the new campaign on March 25, saying in a statement that it will emphasize the elements common to both Spanish food and the image of one of Spain’s greatest athletes: quality, knowledge and recognition.

Photo: TalkAbout Tennis/Jason Wood
Photo: Talk About Tennis/Jason Wood

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