Rafael Nadal had an excellent season, enhanced by victories at the Australian Open and Roland Garros. The Spanish champion thus hoisted himself to 22 Grand Slams, stretching over Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer in the all-time rankings.
Thanks to Dr. Cotorro's therapies, the former world number 1 managed to ease the pain in his foot and also expressed excellent tennis at Wimbledon. The 36-year-old from Manacor pushed himself to the semifinals in London, but a torn abs prevented him from taking the field against Nick Kyrgios.
That injury turned out to be more serious than expected and also conditioned his approach to the US Open, where Rafa did not go beyond the round of 16 (beaten in four sets by Frances Tiafoe). The last part of the season was very disappointing for the Iberian, eliminated on his debut in Paris-Bercy and unable to pass the group stage at the ATP Finals in Turin.
In an interview with 'MARCA' during his tour of South America, Nadal revealed that he doesn't really like the way the game is played today.
Nadal on the homogenization of surfaces
"Before, the points were prepared waiting for the right ball to attack, not all the balls were attacked, the right ball was expected.
Today there are no transition balls or point preparation. Each ball that is hit is with the objective of winning the period. It has gone well for me, nothing should be changed for me, but emotionally speaking I like another type of sport more, which allows you more options and implement a tactic," Rafael Nadal said.
Rafael Nadal reckons the homogenization of surfaces has led to similar playing conditions, reducing diversity and leading to players with similar playing styles. "I would like to see tennis that offers more opportunities, more diverse styles of games.
Today, because of the way it is played, the way the courts are made, the balls, most people play a very similar style because the the speed at which you play and the conditions give you very little room to put a different tactic into practice.
On the clay court there is a little more time, it gives you the opportunity to think." Rafael Nadal insists being considered the greatest player of all time (GOAT) and holding various records “takes a backseat” when it comes to his legacy as he wants people to have a “good human memory” of him.
“I don’t think it’s going to be a trend,” he said. “It’s difficult to maintain such a high level. I play very few events at this stage, so it’s difficult to maintain a very high ranking because you have to be very accurate in the events where you compete”.