Rafa Roundup: Carlos Moya believes Rafa can win another Grand Slam

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In addition, Nadal also spoke of the importance of mental strength when playing, and feels he has improved in that regard since last year. “Of course you can lose matches with your head. You can also win matches that way, obviously. But you can’t win 14 Grand Slams with your head. The only way to win them is having the shots that allow you to do so. When you find yourself up against a player at his highest level, and you are at your limit, your head has an impact. When you’re poor mentally, you lose matches. Last year I showed that.”

Q. We’ve been hearing a constant rumour for the last two years about a Moya-Nadal team-up …

“That’s come from the media and John McEnroe. But we’ve never spoken even once about that possibility. I’m convinced Rafa will end his career with Toni and with the same team that’s been around him for years. I know Rafa well and I think he’d think it unfair to separate himself from Toni because things aren’t going so well. I’ve never looked to be a part of his team. We’re good friends, we often eat together, and we trained together at Christmas. That’s all.”

Q. Do you think he’ll win another Slam?

“Of course I believe that. He’s not yet thirty. He needs to improve in certain areas and he knows that. He works. It’s a normal process: first of all, you try the new things in practice, and then you apply them in a match, under pressure, and then you don’t think about them any more. It worked at the end of last season, but not here. You can see he wants to play more inside the baseline. Against Verdasco, he was a metre inside the baseline, but he wasn’t doing any damage. Positioning isn’t everything. Being a metre inside the baseline and pushing the ball, that’s not the answer. Right now, Rafa is a bit confused when he plays under pressure. He should develop this game without thinking. Right now, we see him thinking.”

Brad Gilbert: Because he had so much confidence coming in, I would probably say Rafa. He said he had his best offseason, so I was kind of thinking he might make a deep run here. Seeing him go out in the first round is most disappointing.

Pam Shriver: I was disappointed that Rafa went from up two sets to one and 2-0 in the fifth, to losing. It’s not because he didn’t try. It’s just, right now, he doesn’t have the belief and weapons he had two or three years ago.


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