'Rafael Nadal uses his stop especially with...', says top analyst

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'Rafael Nadal uses his stop especially with...', says top analyst

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have missed the US Open in the past two years, and it's hard to imagine their clash in New York before they bow out. Federer and Nadal were the best players in the world in 2005, winning 11 ATP titles each and sharing three Majors and eight Masters 1000s.

Nadal conquered Roland Garros on his Paris debut, while Federer defended the title at Wimbledon, and both headed to New York with high hopes. The Spaniard made a winning start following a 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 win over Bobby Reynolds in one hour and 49 minutes.

Rafa dropped ten points in his games against the American and converted both break chances to keep the pressure on the other side. Despite throwing everything he had at Nadal, Reynolds suffered four breaks and ended his campaign.

Rafa was happy with his serve, although he still wanted to improve his game before the next few rounds to make a deep run in the last Major of the season. When asked about a possible final against Roger, Rafa said that they are miles away from that match, noting that he didn't play well in New York in the past and that Roger hasn't even started his tournament yet.

"I think I served well against Bobby Reynolds. I feel a little more comfortable in my service games than I have in the past. In every game, I have a service winner or an easy point with my forehand right after the serve, which is essential.

I am the no. 2 now, and it's different to the US Open than in previous years. I have played very well this year. I wasn't playing at my best in my previous visits to the US Open, and I wasn't happy with my game. It's different now as I played well in Montreal on the same surface and won the title.

Now I am more confident, but you never know in tennis because I may lose in the next match. The ball is a little different compared to Montreal, and I have to adapt and play better in the next round."

Mischa Zverev on Nadal

In an interview with tennis MAGAZIN, Mischa Zverev hailed Rafael Nadal for being unpredictable, adopting surprise tactics like a serve and volley to surprise his opponent.

"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 said. After a very long game, advantage - deuce - advantage - deuce, he suddenly throws in a serve and volley," he added. "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."