Rafael Nadal’s best is frightening but we haven’t been frightened for quite some time, you could probably say that the last time was at the French Open back in 2014 when he won his last major since then it hasn’t happened but what does the Spaniard need to do to find his best once again and is it achievable?
Shorter rallies / serve and volley?
On the ad side Nadal has the ability to hit that slice lefty serve out-wide which is a massive pain to defend against as you can see below when he faced Lucas Pouille at the US Open.
This is a perfect situation to attack the net and end the point. Serve is good, Pouille is on his bike and the body position of Nadal to go forward is ready but…
Instead as the point rolls Nadal just sits on the baseline backing into the backhand corner to flick the forehand up the line and ends up losing the point and of course lost this match against Pouille!
I’d like to see him use the serve more but also come to the net, he has the ability at the net his racket control is exceptional.
Fear the forehand once again?
When you think of Rafael Nadal this is the shot you think about. That forehand is deadly at times. We haven’t seen it at it’s devastating for quite some time but we been treated to glimpses of this.
The forehand can be feared once again but it’s in Nadal’s court. The movement of the body to play this shot with the bend of the knee to rotate the body relies on how healthy he is after multiple injury problems is can it be relied on week in week out of a busy schedule?
If Nadal is fit and healthy and on form then anything is possible. Getting back to his best and to the very top may also take a bit of adaption to his game to make himself better; more net play introduced, use the slice serve more but also the sliced backhand to make his opponent retreat so he can settle behind the baseline again.
Screenshots (1 credit to BritishEuropsport) (2 credit to SkySports)