- Nadal: Warm Up Sparked Winning Run (via Tennis Now)
Nadal scored his 300th career Masters 1000 victory rolling a weary Stan Wawrinka, 6-2, 6-1, to roar into the Shanghai Rolex Masters semifinals.
The 14-time Grand Slam champion says raising the quality of his pre-match warm-ups to practice sessions is a key component to his winning run in China.
“I am practicing a lot even before every match,” Nadal told the media in Shanghai. “The warm ups are not warm ups anymore, they are like a practice. I enjoy the way we are doing the things. I am practicing well. We are moving to try to go a next step in terms of level.”
- Nadal Surges Past Wawrinka Into Semis (via ATP World Tour)
“Being in the semi-finals is a great result for me,” said Nadal. “I hadn’t played the semi-finals on hard court all year and now I am playing two weeks in a row in the final rounds. That’s a big improvement for me. In terms of confidence, in terms of level of tennis, I am playing better. Very happy for that because I am working so hard.”
- Shanghai Rolex Masters: Nadal surges past Wawrinka with 300th Masters win (via The Sport Review)
The dominance of the ‘big four’ at the premier level of the ATP tour over the last five years has been remarkable in itself. Since early 2010, Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray have won 46 out of 50 Masters titles—and have also accounted for 26 of the losing finalists.
Federer does still hold another Masters accolade, the most match-wins, 326, but Nadal is in hot pursuit of that, as well.
Nadal is playing unfettered, confident tennis again. His degree of enthusiasm is so striking that it almost seems as if someone had pushed a reset button somewhere in his being. Most importantly, it appears the trademark intensity with which Nadal once played every point has also been rekindled. That’s bad news for Tsonga, because when Nadal turns up the heat and begins to swarm over opponents, it’s tempting to mentally fold up the tent and call it a tournament.