There are players, champions and legends. Rafa Nadal is as unbelievable, as unstoppable. At the age of 32, after 17 brilliant years of career, he keeps fighting and working hard on the court of any given tournament.
He is now working on something thought as unmodifiable, his service. Knowing he is not as tall as Del Potro, Raonic, Anderson, and others. Height it’s is consider as an advantage for the service. He used the last 4 months, since his last match (semifinals at the US Open vs. Del Potro) to improve his shot.
The official ATP Tour website interviewed Carlos Moya, Rafa’s coach, he explained what they have been working and the reason to change the service, the approach is to do more damage while serving to shorten the matches and prolong his career
“The change is based in three key points. First when he starts the swing his hand goes lower, rather than being lifted laterally, second when he throws the ball he doesn’t flex as much as he should, he holds his body straight losing drive. Lastly, when he lands his right leg is inside the court”, described Moya.
On the causes of not having it changed before, the former number one said that “there are things we saw for a while now, but because of the knee and foot we could not get down to work. During the winter he has been well, he tried, he found continuity and he felt comfortable”.
Francisco Roig, the first coach who accompanied Uncle Toni, added: “With the second serve the parabola it is now a little different. It does not have as much effect, it is more direct. It may have a little more risk, but it is also an advantage: the opponent has a hard time understanding the movement of the ball because it hits harder”.
Finally, on the expectation of seeing what has been worked on the courts, he announced: “We seek to do more damage and a faster ball. We always had the feeling that Rafa’s ball was fast in the service, but when it bounced slowed a bit. Now, with a more fluid movement, we want the ball to bounce and maintain the speed “.
It happened in the Rod Laver Arena, the center court of the Australian Open. Carlos Moya approaches Rafael Nadal to correct the position of his left arm. The number two in the world is rushing the last minutes of his second training of the day rehearsing the serve, a blow renewed by small technical adjustments that the tennis player has implemented during the preseason.
With great desire to return to the competition and exhibiting a new serve, Rafa is back in the office. The beast keeps on working.