Spain's Rafael Nadal  celebrates with the trophy  after he won  the final match of  the  Hamburg Open ATP tennis tournament  against Fabio Fognini of Italy, in Hamburg, Germany, Sunday Aug. 2, 2015.  (Daniel Reinhardt/dpa via AP)
Daniel Reinhardt/dpa via AP

MercedesCup, Stuttgart

Daniel Kopatsch/Bongarts/Getty Images
Daniel Kopatsch/Bongarts/Getty Images

Argentina Open

Gabriel Rossi/Getty Images
Gabriel Rossi/Getty Images


  1. Rafa, I love watching you for years, ever since you took off now over 10 years ago. Please do two things that will make you beat Djoko: 1) mix in some direct, hard hits close to the nets, don’t do the top spin all the time. Be unpredictable, and sometimes hit quickly and flat. The top spin takes extra tie to execute because of your back swing, and that is not always the best. 2) get close to the baseline when you receive serves. The distance you have to run far behind the backline with good servers like Djoko is much greater than if you are close to the baseline when receiving. You can do that by returning with the flat, hard hits without topspin described above.

    These 2 things would make your game much more unpredictable, and your incredible technique would be better utilized.


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