Andy Roddick Says Rafael Nadal Has Returned to Bullying His Opponents in His First Match at Madrid Open

Published 05/05/2022, 6:30 AM EDT
Tennis – Australian Open – Men’s Singles Final – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia – January 31, 2022 Spain’s Rafael Nadal celebrates after winning the men’s singles final with trophy REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

Rafael Nadal is back to his best. After a brief injury absence that saw him miss the Monte Carlo Masters and the Barcelona Open, Nadal has found winning momentum once again. Yesterday, the Spaniard prevailed over Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia in straight sets to enter the third round of the Madrid Open 2022.

Further, it was a comeback match and the first match on the clay court for Nadal this season. However, he proved yet again why he is called the ‘King of Clay’, with a comprehensive win in his first match after six weeks. After the match, the former World Number 1 and American tennis legend, Andy Roddick, analyzed Nadal’s performance in his second-round victory.

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Andy Roddick lauds the backup plan of Rafael Nadal

In a post-match conversation with Steve Weissman and Pam Shriver, Roddick rated Nadal’s second-round win on a scale of ten. He said, “Yeah, I mean, probably about a six. He looks like a guy who hasn’t played a tournament in a while, but you don’t really worry about him on the clay. One of Rafa’s big things is he can get into these matches and the aggression will come, opening up the shoulders and bullying people will come.”

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Mar 16, 2022; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Rafael Nadal (ESP) reacts after winning a point as he defeats. Reilly Opelka (USA) in the fourth round at the BNP Paribas Open at the. Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Further, he added, “His base level of listen, I can run, I can grind, I can put the ball in awkward spots for my opponent up above the shoulders, that really never goes away. He’s going to keep his unforced error level low. That’s a nice backup plan to have before everything starts making sense in the offense side of the ball.”

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However, Nadal has been handed a difficult draw in his comeback tournament. In the third round, he will face the former World Number seven, David Goffin. Subsequently, a potential clash with in-form Carlos Alcaraz will await Nadal in the quarterfinals. Further, Djokovic and Nadal are in the same half of the draw. They might potentially face for a place in the Madrid Open final. It will be interesting to see who comes out on the top at the Madrid Open.

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Vatsal Shah

626 articles

Vatsal Shah is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. With a Bachelor's degree in engineering, he is a die hard fan of tennis and sports in general. He is an ardent follower of Rafael Nadal and is inspired by his never-say-die attitude.

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