‘My Body Is Like an Old Machine’- Rafael Nadal Says Winning Australian Open 2022 Didn’t Help His Comeback

Published 05/09/2022, 11:31 AM EDT

Rafael Nadal gave a kick start to the year by breaking the three-way tie of 20 Grand Slam victories between him, Federer, and Djokovic. He claimed his 21st Grand Slam title at the 2022 Australian Open. Thereafter, he reigned at the Mexican Open and made a run till the finals of the Indian Wells. Thus, winning won 21 consecutive matches.

However, he incurred an injury to his rib while playing against the young Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz in the semifinals of the Indian Wells. And was out of the circuit for around 4-6 weeks,. Recently, Rafa made a comeback in Madrid Open. Though he made a decent quarterfinal run, fans were accepting a lot more from the king of clay. Therefore, he decided to address the matter and present his side.

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Rafael Nadal Says the Great Start Didn’t Help

After Rafa’s quarterfinals dismissal from the Madrid Open against the 19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz, his fans were in disbelief. As Nadal started the year in the best way possible and even defeated Carlos on his way. Thus, he knew what the boy was capable of. Further, clay is the surface where he has achieved the most. Hence, the equation didn’t quite add up for the Rafa fans.

Therefore, when the media asked if having a splendid start helped, Rafa cleared the clouds and gave a gist of his situation. And said, “No, when you are six weeks without touching a racquet and without having the chance to move your body.” Thereafter, he demanded patience and some time by saying, “My body is like an old machine. To put this machine on again it already again takes some time.”

Rafael Nadal will next take part in the Italian Open, the second clay-based tournament in Europe. He is seeded 3rd and will play in the round of 32 on 10th May.

Why Is Rafa Good on Clay?

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Rafael Nadal is a baseliner, the only kind of players that clay favors, and when topped up with his body control, he becomes invisible. Further, Clay aids spin more than the hard courts and Rafa’s unique way of taking forehand shots is the perfect fit for it. While taking a forehand shot, Nadal goes from low to high, which facilitates a topspin. Thus, helping him regulate the ball according to his will.

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

In addition, the ball travels slower with a high bounce in clay. Therefore, the former world no.1 has enough time to evaluate the situation and pick the best shot possible. Also, Rafa has weak knees, and the hard courts target the same.

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But in the case of clay courts, the loose red dirt allows him to glide, putting almost no pressure on his knees.

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Mahima Verma

400 articles

Mahima Verma is a Tennis writer for EssentiallySports. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Hotel Management from IHM Mumbai. A sports enthusiast, particularly Tennis since her childhood, Mahima believes that she is fortunate enough to witness the legends like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Serena Williams play.

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