- Moya’s Takeaways After Nadal’s R2 Win | ATP World Tour
A Better Showing Than Tuesday: This is the norm with Rafa: He starts off slowly at Grand Slams and builds momentum. The first two rounds have been a feeling-out process. He’s not at his best yet, but as the level of competition improves, so will his level of play.
Room For Improvement: Again, the score sheet doesn’t tell the whole story. Nadal was aggressive and played well, but he didn’t dominate throughout, as the final score suggests. He’s settling down, set by set, but he still has a way to go.
- Rafael Nadal fan of new on-site withdrawal rule | sport360.com
“Being 100 per cent honest with you, I think is a good rule, because there is a lot of money on the Slams. For a lot of players, that they are inside the tournament of a Grand Slam and they have a physical problem in that week, just playing tournament helps a lot to save the year,” said Nadal.
“So I believe is fair that if they are inside and they have the chance to retire than keep winning the money is win to win, no? The tournament wins because there is no bad players or sick players playing, and for them, he deserve, because he made the right things to be there and he deserve that prize money so they still get it.”
Noah, the only French man since 1946 to win at Roland Garros when he beat Wilander in the 1983 final, says you have to think outside of the box to beat Nadal.
“I’d serve under arm and I’d hit only drop shots,” he jokes in an interview with Cash for CNN’s Open Court at Roland Garros.
“And if he’s at the net I’d hit it at him. You have to try something.”
Afterward, Rafa was asked in Spanish how an athlete knows what his “limit”—his top level—is.
“I think this famous limit doesn’t exist because we don’t know where it is,” he said.
“But there certainly is a limit, but I can’t think there is one because I don’t know where it is. I don’t know. We can’t decide where it is.”
After 13 years and 10 titles at Roland Garros, Nadal hasn’t discovered his limit. But along the way he’s helped a lot of his opponents including, Pella, find theirs.
- The Secret To Nadal’s Dominance On Clay | fivethirtyeight.com
While his forehand is explosive and his backhand is relentless, it’s possible Nadal’s greatest advantage is that he turns an element of the game that’s a weakness for so many others into a weapon: the second serve. He has had more success on his second serve than any player in tennis history, and on clay, his prowess here is even more pronounced.
In his career, Nadal has won 56.7 percent of his second-serve points on clay. In the past year, he’s upped that percentage to 66.4 percent. For most pro players, anything better than break-even on second serve is considered good. Nadal has taken the safety net of the sport and turned it into a battle ax.
- Inside RG #2 – The players lounge | Roland Garros
- Toni Nadal watching Rafa’s practice