Former world No. 25 Mischa Zverev says the element of surprise Rafael Nadal has in his game is one of the reasons why the Spaniard is so difficult to beat. Nadal, a record 22-time Grand Slam champion, wisely decides when to pull off a surprise shot, according to Zverev.
"The players, especially Medvedev, are preparing for long rallies. After serve and return, you play the point practically like a penalty. This is the tactic of building the point from behind. Rafa is constantly analysing the game, and he knows when it's wise to create moments of surprise.
He often does something new or unexpected when he's behind," Zverev told tennis MAGAZIN. "After a very long game, advantage - deuce - advantage - deuce, he suddenly throws in a serve and volley. He does it when you don't expect it, in a stressful situation.
Or he uses his stop, especially with the forehand. If Rafa was playing serve-and-volley all the time, it wouldn't work."
Nadal won't be kicking off his summer on hard courts this week
Nadal, who was forced to withdraw from his Wimbledon semifinal due to an abdoninal injury, was targeting to return to action this week at the Montreal Masters.
While preparing for Montreal, Nadal felt a "slight bother" in the abdominal area and he decided to withdraw from the tournament. “I have been practising for a while now without serving and started with serves four days ago,” Nadal announced on Friday.
“Everything has been going well. However yesterday, after my normal practice, I felt a slight bother on my abdominal and today it was still there. After speaking with my doctor, we prefer to take things in a conservative way and give a few more days before starting to compete." Nadal is now expected to return to action at the Cincinnati Masters, which starts on August 14.