'If Rafael Nadal hadn't made those changes, I believe that...', says top coach

by   |  VIEW 2272

'If Rafael Nadal hadn't made those changes, I believe that...', says top coach

Rafael Nadal owns some of the most impressive records in the game and former World No. 1 Andy Roddick was asked to choose between two amazing Nadal records. On April 25, 2005, an 18-year-old Nadal broke into the top-10 for the first time in his career.

This Monday, it was 17 years since Nadal entered the top-10. That Nadal is still a top-10 player 17 years later is impressive, but the fact that he hasn't left the top-10 since he entered it is absolutely astounding. On Monday, Roddick reacted to the stat by tweeting: "This is absurd." Nadal won his first Grand Slam title at the 2005 French Open.

17 years later, Nadal is a record 13-time French Open champion. "@andyroddick What is more impressive? Rafa's years in the top 10 or his 13 French Open titles? It's very close," a fan asked Roddick. Roddick replied: "The French Open.

For context, the record for all slams was Pete's 14 before this trio. Compare that to Rafa's French Open. It's crazy." Meanwhile, Nadal continues to recover from a stress fracture of the ribs he suffered in Indian Wells. Nadal missed the start of the clay court season, as he was forced to skip Monte Carlo and Barcelona.

However, Nadal hopes to return to action next week in Madrid. "I think so. Rafa told me that he hoped to play in Madrid. There are 15 days left to see if everything evolves correctly and if he can be in very good shape.

Nadal will play in Madrid after a long break

Patrick Mouratoglou recently took to Instagram to explain three changes he feels Rafael Nadal has made to his game over the years.

"First, Rafa's game has become more and more aggressive. Early in his career, he would win games by forcing long rallies from baseline," Mouratoglou said. "Now he is looking to step inside the court more, take control of the points and shorten the rallies to conserve energy.

His serve went from a way to start the point to an actual weapon. He changed some elements in his technique which allowed him to gain more power. One of the biggest changes is improving his weight dispatch. Third, he has added a new shot to his game.

In the Australian Open final, we saw him use the slice a lot to bring [Daniil] Medvedev to the net. He even used the drop shot to make him doubt," Mouratoglou said. "Rafa has also improved his volley game, and now, you'll see him come to the net. If he hadn't made those changes, I believe that he wouldn't be the player that he is today."