Rafael Nadal returned to tour level action yesterday, after his defeat against Novak Djokovic in the thrilling semi-finals of the Wimbledon last month. Nadal got past the Frenchman Benoit Paire in straight sets in the second round of Toronto. The Spaniard will remain at the top of the ATP singles rankings regardless of the results in Toronto. Despite the victory, Nadal said he was not satisfied with his performance.
‘I feel that of course I was not at my 100% today’, said Nadal during his post match press conference. ‘I think I played a solid match. It’s true that with myself in the second set I had some troubles, but my return worked well. And it was not about the serve. It was more about the mistakes from the baseline in my opinion.’
Nadal was also asked about the extensive use of drop shots by him in the recent past. ‘Drop shots are effective in all the surfaces if you did it in the right moment, if you do it in the right moment. In general terms, what is important is don’t be very……. predictable’, said the world number one.
The Spaniard also said that it was important to be innovative and creative on grass. You can win matches on clay without being creative, but on grass you will have to come up with something that is out of the box.
‘Yeah, it’s important to be a little bit unpredictable, especially on grass and on all the surfaces, no? But on clay, if you are predictable but you do the right shot, you know, is still tough for the opponent to take advantage, no?
Rafa will face the Swiss Stan Wawrinka in the next round, and despite Wawrinka’s poor showing in the recent months, Nadal is wary of the challenge. ‘So, yeah, it’s going to be an important and tough match hopefully for both of us’, he said.