Rafal Nadal is back on top. This looked impossible a year ago now he’s had his best year for some time. Runner up in Melbourne, King in Monte Carlo, Madrid, Barcelona and Paris and now the star in New York his rise back to the top has been incredible but it’s been down to hard work.
Nadal’s talent is probably better than anyone’s in my opinion. His whole game is one that comes down to hard work as well. There was a struggle for quite some time and the forehand became a weakness, the serve was tired and the backhand was flat and that was sad to see his form and confidence dip especially for a man who before this year had 14 major titles confidence still plays a massive part no matter what you have achieved and throw that in with injuries it’s been tough but he’s enjoying his tennis once more.
Some will turn around and say well there is no Novak, Murray or Stan but you can only win your matches and your battles and you could flip it on the other hand and say if he lost in R2 well there is no Novak, Murray or Stan and he blew it so if anything there is more pressure in situations like this.
Nadal’s brilliance is his forehand. The flick of the wrist and the spin he generates is out of this world whether he flicks it up the line or kills the angle cross court it’s stunning.
Not only has Nadal found this shot again but also found the balance in his game. The serve is back and probably better than it has ever been before. Adding good friend, former player and ex doubles partner Carlos Moya to his team was a good decision he has helped find that killer instinct on the serve which was lacking. As a lefty you do have a bit more of an advantage on serve with that bouncing slice out-wide and he has utilised his skill a lot with the sharp serve down the T, kick into the body or the slice out wide.
The backhand is the shot that Nadal use to avoid, it was the weaker of the two but he seems more composed and free on it instead of being tight. It’s not the strongest shot in the game but’s it more of a game changer now in favour of Nadal, he is so good at lining it up and finding the target and this has all made the difference.
Throw in the forehand, serve, improved backhand and of course confidence and what you have is a Grand Slam winner once more!