Rafael Nadal- Early Signs Of Improvement!




Rafael Nadal eased into the third round defeating Tommy Haas in straight sets: 6-4, 6-3, 6-4. The positive sign for Rafael Nadal was his movement on the court which was as swift as it can be. He was aggressive and in control of his shots. If early indications are to be believed, putting extra weight on his racquet seems to have worked in his favor as the shots hit had more power and speed.

If we compare his stats with 2010 hard court stats which was his best year so far, one can see that he is on course and playing with the same aggression and precision:

Rafael Nadal
2010
2011
AO
1st Serve %
64
65
65
Aces
204
142
11
Unforced Errors
31
Winning % on 1st Serve
76
71
8
Winning % on 2nd Serve
59
56
5
Winners
78
Receiving Points Won %
39
42
48
Break Point Conversions%
40
45
60
              *includes first and second round

What’s more heartening to see is his win % on 1stserve seems to have improved than 2011 which is a good sign. His serve has been a point of concern against Djokovic and improving that can be a huge factor while playing against the top guns.

What can be concluded from after watching him play in two matches is:

1)      He is fully fit with no signs of knee problem.

2)      He is playing aggressively and putting in more power in his shots to hit more winners and come out of his usual defensive mentality.

3)      He is getting himself ready to break the mental barrier against Djokovic by putting in extra effort on and off the court.

As  Todd Blackledge  has rightly said: The Six W's: Work will win when wishing won't. 

All in all, the early sings indicate Rafa is getting ready to take his rivalry against Djokovic to a new level. It will be really interesting to see how he handles pressure once he reaches the SF stage!




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