Twenty-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal has said that traveling to tournaments around the globe doesn’t affect his sleep.
When asked how he deals with a lack of sleep between tournaments during a live chat with fans, Nadal said, “I normally sleep well.”
“When we travel around the world and there are big differences in hours, I normally try and arrive with plenty of time to the tournament to adapt to the conditions, jet lag, courts, and weather,” Nadal said.
“I try to do things in the best possible way to be ready for the action,” Nadal said. “And if for some reason, one day, you’re nervous and you can’t sleep much, you deal with it… When it’s match time, the adrenaline will be there.”
The punishing and tight ATP schedule often doesn’t afford players enough time to rest or spend time with their loved ones back home. However, as professionals, the players are expected to take it in their strides and do what needs to be done.
Not a spring chicken anymore, Nadal does prioritize events these days to keep himself in the best possible shape for big tournaments and Grand Slams. He skipped the Erste Bank Open in Vienna and is also not competing in the ongoing Sofia Open in Bulgaria. However, he has confirmed participation in the year-end ATP Tour Finals in London’s O2 Arena.
Though Rafa withdrew from the US Open this year, citing concerns over the novel coronavirus pandemic, he did travel to Roland-Garros. His absence at the Flushing Meadows did not seem to affect his game as he went on to lift his 13th French Open trophy.
Tellingly, Nadal did not drop a single set during his title-winning run at Roland-Garros.
Having grappled with multiple injury setbacks throughout his career, Nadal is now wiser on ways to keep himself well-oiled for high-stakes events. He has made slight adjustments to his game to survive the rigors of modern-day tennis.
Pointing to one such aspect in Nadal’s game to show how he has adapted to the modern game, former French star Richard Gasquet, in a recent interview, said that Nadal now has an improved serve and tries to close out points quicker.