'Rafael Nadal has to adjust the way he plays', says former ATP ace

Rafael Nadal always amazes with his dedication and his hunger for victories

by Simone Brugnoli
'Rafael Nadal has to adjust the way he plays', says former ATP ace

When Rafael Nadal loses a tennis match it is usually news, when the Spaniard's losing streak is four in a row it is even more so. Well, the Spanish champion with the loss suffered in two sets against Auger-Aliassime, who has definitively ousted the Spaniard from this edition of the Finals, with the 22-time Slam champion who has played the last match of the round of influence against the already qualified for the semifinals Casper Ruud.

To go back in time and understand if it ever happened to Nadal to chain four defeats in a row, you have to go back to 2009. In that year, in which the Spaniard won the Australian Open for the first time, the season ended with four defeats in a row : first in Paris Bercy against Djokovic and then the three in the final group against, again, the Serb, Davydenko and Soderling.

Nadal in these indoor finals did not appear 100%, thus remedying two bad defeats (which had preceded those of the US Open and Paris Bercy) that lowered the average achievement of the Iberian. Currently, Rafael Nadal can boast a very high winning percentage: 83.09%.

Despite this high figure, the twenty-two-time slam winner is second behind his rival Novak Djokovic who, thanks to this decidedly positive end to the season, first reached and then surpassed the Mallorcan to 83.29% and who could improve by winning the tournament.

By 2023, therefore, not only will the slams fight for the number one spot in the world, but the phenoms will compete to top winning percentages.

Andy Roddick reflects on Nadal

Andy Roddick believes that Novak Djokovic is in the best shape of his life and is currently ahead of Rafael Nadal in the pecking order.

"His discipline. His body does not look like a typical body that's at the end of the road. You look at the flexibility, he hasn't lost anything as far as movement and if anything he has only gotten better from 28 to 35," Roddick said.

The American also compared the physical abilities of Djokovic and Nadal, who are in their mid-30s and excelling at the top of the sport. "You won't find a bigger Rafa fan than me but it looks different than it did five years ago.

He has to adjust the way he plays, he's having to play higher risk and end points a little sooner which means we see a lot more peaks and valleys. He's not able to run balls down like he was able without paying a physical bill. Novak still seems that he's able to rely on his body a little more no matter which type of strategy," he added.

Rafael Nadal