Rafael Nadal Heads To Barcelona Looking For Consistency
epa03671748 Rafael Nadal of Spain returns the ball to Novak Djokovic of Serbia during the final match at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters tournament in Roquebrune Cap Martin, France, 21 April 2013. Djokovic won in two sets. EPA/SEBASTIEN NOGIER |
Despite his comeback in Monte Carlo last week, Rafael Nadal heads to Barcelona still searching for the consistency which has made him the terror of the clay for a decade. The Spaniard, who may or may not have played in the principality with a back problem, – he’s not telling – said that despite his physical condition, there are still parts of his game which he needs to bring back to his former top level.
“It’s normal to problems with the shoulder, the elbow. I didn’t play tennis for seven months. It’s not like if you stop and you have the chance to practice. I didn’t practice.
“I trained two weeks, then I started to play tournaments (in February). Then I stopped for the month (after winning Indian Wells in March). I didn’t play tennis for two weeks because I had to do treatment on my knee another time. I passed one week before here and I’m here.
“The body needs to re-adapt to the competition, to this high level of intensity.
“It’s important play with all that you can. Some days I play great first set, then I play so-so,” complained the Spaniard. “I’ve been able to play regular (consistently) through my whole career.
Nadal flirted with his second loss at the Country Club in the quarter-finals when Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov stood two games from an upset win, But that shock scenario did not come to pass, with Nadal squeezing out the victory which took him into weekend play.
“It is very important win these kind of matches, they can change your year. When you have these tough matches, it’s decisive to keep fighting. If you keep fighting, you will lose some matches, but you will have a chance to win a lot of them also.
“Obviously I’m trying to find better rhythm all the time.”
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