Defending French Open champion, Rafael Nadal has revealed that he watches YouTube matches of other players as a part of the preparation process before matches.
In an interaction with L’Equipe, Nadal said, “In life, it is easier to copy than to invent. I look at others and I try to understand what they do well. It’s not possible to give a specific example because it’s not about copying someone, rather taking the idea and adapt it to your style.”
“It’s more about the position, the movement. I watched hundreds or thousands of videos of other players on YouTube trying to take ideas,” added Nadal.
Nadal also admitted that he doesn’t watch tennis late into the night but would gladly sit for golf. He also admitted that he could do with less sleep. “It’s different than hanging out and drink something. There if you sleep just five hours, it is not enough. But if I watch TV, relaxed on my sofa, no problems”, said the Spaniard.
Nadal remained indecisive though on the idea of reducing Grand Slams to three set matches. “It is very complicated. There will never be an ideal solution. But I think it’s important to respect the history of this sport.”
“It’s the tradition that helps our sport to become even bigger. What you can do is try innovations in the little tournaments”, added Nadal.
The ingenious method of watching pre-recorded matches online has definitely worked for Nadal, judging by his storming performances off late in the clay courts of Madrid and Rome. He may have lost out to Thiem at Madrid but went all the way in Rome, preparing for the French Open in the best possible manner.
He got past lucky loser, Simone Bolelli in straight sets in the first round and will be aiming to improve upon his world record of 10 French Open titles this time around.