- Rafael Nadal Embraces the Present to Advance in Australian Open | The New York Times
“He’s looking for his forehand again, and I like that he’s using his forehand down the line more,” said Conchita Martínez, the Spanish Davis Cup captain. “To hit that shot, you have to be well balanced and well set, and he’s doing that and he’s running good, getting to balls early, and being aggressive.”
Nadal was playing this way last spring before the injury, and he now has a big opportunity in the bottom half of the draw in Melbourne with Djokovic out of contention and nobody other than Nadal left in that half who has won a Grand Slam singles title.
- Day 8 preview: Raging Bull fights on | Australian Open
Claiming his first Grand Slam title at age 19 and becoming known as the “Raging Bull” as he charged on to win 13 more, Rafael Nadal’s fighting spirit has never been in doubt. But translating that spirit into big wins has been a challenge of late.
… Nadal will be hoping that no such marathon is required in the fourth round against Gael Monfils, whom he leads 12-2 in their head-to-head record. The Frenchman’s two wins have both been in the season-opening event in Doha, Qatar – although it’s an anomaly that hasn’t occurred since 2012.
… Monfils’ No. 6 seeding does matter. He has been a more substantive and dangerous competitor over the last year than he ever has been before. In the 2016 final against Nadal in Monte Carlo, Monfils won the first and only set he’s ever taken from Rafa on clay. Monfils has also been sharp in his first three matches Down Under. He should make it interesting against Nadal, and might push it to five. But after his last win, over Alexander Zverev, Rafa should feel a little more confident in the clutch.
- Moyà, un entrenador de escuadra y cartabón | El Español
Rafael Nadal: Moyà ha venido con algunos ejercicios nuevos. Es cierto que yo soy mucho de pelotear y pelotear en los entrenamientos, pero desde que ha llegado Carlos lo estamos haciendo menos, probando cosas más específicas.
Toni Nadal: Sí, Moyà ha aportado ejercicios que son muy buenos para el juego de Rafael. En función de cómo ha ido el partido, hablamos y vemos qué hacer. Por ejemplo, en el segundo partido ante Baghdatis falló varias derechas invertidas y pensamos que deberíamos trabajar ese golpe al día siguiente.
Carlos Moya: “I wanted to see how eager Rafa was to be back at the top. He proved to me that he was doing and will do anything in his power to be back at the top. He’s not that far away, and he has time. The young players are not ready to be Top 5 in the world yet so he has a couple of years to make it back. He needs to win a few matches now, just to get the extra 10 or 20% of confidence. You can not change a 14-time Grand Slam champion when he is 30 years old, but he can evolve.”
PHOTOS: Rafa roars into round 4 | Australian Open
- The Baseline: Rafael Nadal v Gael Monfils | Australian Open
- Patrick Mouratoglou: How Rafa Nadal rebuilt his serve | Eurosport
- Rafael Nadal takes a trip down the Yarra River | Australian Open