For the first time since 2005, Rafael Nadal was forced to miss the Monte Carlo Masters 1000. A few hours ago, the announcement came that the Spanish phenomenon will also have to give up the Barcelona tournament. The former world number 1 broke a rib during the Indian Wells semi-final against Carlos Alcaraz, nevertheless managing to win the match and make it to the pitch for the final.
The 21-time Grand Slam champion couldn’t paw his fourth title in California, surrendering in two sets to have Taylor Fritz. Back in Spain, Rafa took in the determination and declared that he would be out for 4 a month and a half. Now, the 35-year-old from Manacor will get back to Madrid or straightforwardly to the Internationals of Italy.
It is essential for the Iberian to play at least one tournament before Roland Garros, where he will go after his 14th seal. Thanks to the triumph in Australia, the Majorcan became the fourth man in history to have won all the Grand Slams at least twice (along with Djokovic, Rod Laver and Roy Emerson).
In a long interview for the ATP website, Casper Ruud revealed the keys to Nadal’s incredible dominance over red.
Ruud talks about Rafa Nadal
“Rafael Nadal plays every point very, very strictly and with order, like it’s his last point.
I have heard him say that many times before and that’s the reason he never gives you room to breathe,” Casper Ruud said. “You don’t get too many free points from him in a match or when you play points [in practice].
With the clay, sometimes it’s more physically demanding because you play longer rallies and longer matches, and he’s there ready for it.” The Norwegian believes this helps Nadal push his opponents into a corner before going for the jugular.
“I have drilled with him a lot and I think he never gives you space to move around when you play against him on dirt. Every one of the shots he delivers are extremely weighty to confront in light of the fact that he puts a ton of topspin and they bob exceptionally high,” Ruud said.
“Any time you need to play a shot above shoulder height from the baseline or when you play groundstrokes, it’s tough. It’s tough to get good enough depth back when he plays these heavy shots, so he gets a chance many times to move forward and go for an aggressive shot.” Rafael Nadal is undoubtedly the King of Clay, and his records on the red dirt are unmatched and unparalleled.