Former No.1 reveals Rafael Nadal's biggest strength

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Former No.1 reveals Rafael Nadal's biggest strength

Following his Roland Garros loss to Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal missed both Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics due to a left foot injury. The Spanish champion returned at the ATP 500 event in Washington last week and lost to Lloyd Harris 4-6, 6-1, 4-6 in the round of 16.

Nadal did not appear in the best possible conditions and during his press conferences he often spoke about his physical problem; a physical problem that later forced him to give up the Toronto Masters 1000, where he would have had to face Harris again in his debut.

"As people know, I have had this problem for a few months," explained the Mallorcan to Tennis Canada. It's a complicated situation, but I can't help it. I tried for a long time because I love this tournament.

I have to find a way to fix this problem. At the end of the day, the most important thing for me is having fun playing tennis. Today this pain prevents me from doing it and I don't believe in my chances of being able to compete seriously.

I hope to return here in two years ”. A few hours after the press release appeared on the official website of the National Bank Open, another bad news arrived. In fact, Nadal will not even participate in the Cincinnati Masters 1000 and this could seriously compromise his participation in the next edition of the US Open.

"We wish a speedy recovery to Rafael Nadal and Milos Raonic, who withdrew from the tournament by infotunio," wrote the organizers of the Western & Southern Open on the tournament's Twitter account.

Roddick praises Rafael Nadal

While speaking in an interview with Tennis Channel, Andy Roddick was first asked to name the toughest left-hander he has faced on tour.

The American, who has a 75-17 career win-loss record against southpaws, picked Rafael Nadal without any hesitation. "Yeah, a lot of those losses were (against) a guy named Rafa, unfortunately," Andy Roddick said. "The thing is (only) 13% of the human population is lefty.

You just don't get the reps with the opposite spin as much." Nadal's crosscourt hook jumps up on his opponents, often forcing them to return it from well above shoulder height. That makes it nearly impossible to do much except send the ball back tamely, thus handing Nadal the immediate advantage in the rally.

"But Rafa, he always had the get-out-of-jail-free card where you might be ahead in a rally and he kind of flicks that hook forehand up," Roddick explained. "And even if he misses it and it lands short, it's still getting up and you really have no good option especially if you can't knock the ball down the line, which was again, hard for me."