He’s only been back on the tour a matter of weeks but it hasn’t taken Rafael Nadal long to re-assert himself as one of the world’s top players.
His win at the Brazil Open coupled with his runners-up performance in Chile, suggest that the extensive rehab the Spaniard has carried out since his baffling second round defeat to Lukas Rosol at Wimbledon, is paying off and it surely won’t be long before he returns to battle with old foes Murray, Djokovic and Federer.
His impressive return to the action has run parallel with a flurry of media activity and provocative quotations coming from the Majorcan and his camp, indicating that during his time away from the game, Rafa has had plenty of time to think about the sport in which he hopes to return to world dominance in.
…Nadal launched a stinging attack…
Following his defeat in Chile, Nadal launched a stinging attack on the ATP and their scheduling of hard court tennis. Reasoning factors such as increased possibility of injury by playing on hard courts that he says can shorten the length of a player’s career, finishing his outburst by saying ‘can you imagine footballers playing on cement’.
He may have a point. Physical exertion on hard surfaces over an extended period of time is scientifically proven to cause damage to joints, particularly in the knees and ankles but for Rafa it may not be the surface he’s playing on – but rather his unique and exuberant technique.
…huge energy output levels on every stroke…
The way in which Nadal strikes every ball is completely unparalleled. His heavy top-spin grip, huge energy output levels on every stroke and grinding style of play are far more likely to have an overriding effect on his body and in-turn make him more susceptible to injury. When watching Nadal in comparison to the aforementioned world’s current top 3, his style of play seems to push him to the physical limits more, massive backswings coupled with explosive body rotations cannot be good for the body, regardless of the floor surface.
So Nadal is back which is great for tennis, unless you’re Djokovic, Murray or Federer that is!
…successful road to recovery…
However, it remains to be seen if this is the start of a long, successful road to recovery or the prolonging of an injury ravished end to a distinguished career.