Rafa Roundup: How can Rafael Nadal improve his game?

MONTREAL, ON - AUGUST 12:  Rafael Nadal of Spain hits a return against Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine during day three of the Rogers Cup at Uniprix Stadium on August 12, 2015 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  Rafael Nadal defeated Sergiy Stakhovsky 7-6, 6-3.  (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images


“The conditions were not easy today. A lot of wind (against) a player who don’t want to play a lot of points from the baseline, so I tried to play the points shorter, going to the net, playing with slice. It was not an easy opponent to start.”

This is a part of the season that I won zero points last year.  Every match that I won are points that I add to the computer for my [Emirates ATP Ranking]. That’s important for me today. Every victory is important for me. That was a good one. Let’s try tomorrow.”

Nadal is playing in Canada for the first time since winning his third title here in 2013. The world number nine improved to 40-12 on the season.

I go day by day. Today is a victory that I am happy with,” said Nadal.

“I’m satisfied with the way that I played. I’m practising well and practising more than ever now because I am healthy and because I feel that’s what I need today.”

He can play his best tennis again. He lacks regularity and needs to improve some aspects of his game [such as] movement and foot speed but he’s able to do it,” said Roig, who coaches Nadal alongside the Spaniard’s uncle, Toni.

“At full speed, hitting the ball like he did back in 2013, he was zoning with no mistakes, and this is something he lacks today. It will be difficult to play in the United Stated that well from the beginning as he did two years ago, but my goal is demonstrate to him that if he wants to win, if the desire is to beat the best players, that’s the way [to do it],” said Roig.

Nadal and Verdasco are now in the quarter-finals, where they may face the best doubles team in the world, Bob and Mike Bryan of the U.S.  In singles, Nadal has a very good draw, as he meets qualifier Mikhail Youzhny, a veteran Russian who is in the final stages of his career and has done well to even get this far, Thursday night.

The optimist in me wins out. Especially if Nadal makes some adjustments. He rations his energy and manages his schedule more judiciously (he writes, the week Nadal supplements his singles play with doubles). … In this sport, the only player discounted altogether from winning majors are those not in the draw. That’s to say nothing of champions with double-digit majors.

PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal into Rogers Cup third round



  1. Getting stronger each match Rafa! Looking forward to watching your match tonight, its going to be a late one with work for me in the morning but I don’t care! Vamos Rafa!

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