No tennis in 70 days but Nadal showed he’s still the main man on clay!

All talk last weekend was about the magic of Davis Cup and it doesn’t happen that rarely but the performance of Rafael Nadal got over-looked and deserves some credit.

Rafa had been struggling with injuries from October to the end of January when he had to withdraw from his quarter final against Cilic in Melbourne and injury meant he missed the hard-court swing at Indian Wells and Miami to be ready for the clay court season.

On clay Rafa is a different animal. He has announced his intention is to play the full year of Davis Cup and his performance against tricky players in Kohlschreiber and Zverev were very good!

Bigger tests will follow but to play your first match in 70 days against a very athletic and talented world number four Alex Zverev and an all-round tricky player in Philip Kohlschreiber but I was impressed with Nadal’s game.

The main issue when it comes to Rafa and injuries has been the knee’s and hip however on clay it does seem to come together but for others it’s a problem surface for the body.

I was surprised by his inclusion in Davis Cup but also surprised by how well he moved against his German opponents.

 rf movement

Image Credit – Davis Cup

He moved well whether he was sliding towards the forehand or whether he had to move and jolter towards the backhand to push off the two hander he did all well.

Likewise with the forehand.

 rn fh

Image Credit – Davis Cup

He produced some stunning top spin winners off this shot and to be looking this good is a surprise however I said in a piece not long he probably looked at Miami and could have competed but in the bigger picture what would have been the point? Instead he’s been travelling and practicing on clay which is where the next 6/7 weeks of the tour will be.

 

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