Serena Williams' ex-coach identifies Rafael Nadal's 'best weapon on clay'

Nadal's clay-court dominance is one of the most impressive things in all of sports.

by Dzevad Mesic
Serena Williams' ex-coach identifies Rafael Nadal's 'best weapon on clay'
© Getty Images Sport - Ryan Pierse

Serena Williams' childhood coach Rick Macci suggests Rafael Nadal's greatest weapon on clay may be his rivals knowing that even delivering their absolute best tennis may not be enough for them to beat the Spaniard. Nadal, 37, is one of the most accomplished players in tennis history and the majority of his success came on clay.

On the clay courts of Roland Garros, Nadal has a 112-3 record and he is a record 14-time French Open champion. Nadal's French Open stat line is the most dominant thing in tennis and also one of the most impressive achievements in all of sports.

"@RafaelNadal best weapon on clay was felt before the match even started. Everybody knew you had to bring Breakfast Lunch and Dinner but the Spanish Bull would be the one enjoying dessert as the Winner," Macci wrote on X.

Can Nadal win the French Open again in 2023?

After being forced to make a heartbreaking decision and withdraw from this year's French Open, Nadal surgically addressed his psoas muscle injury.

Nadal, who is aiming to play again at the start of 2024, admitted in September that he doesn't really expect to win the Australian Open and French Open next year after everything he had been through over the last 11 months.

"I want to be back on the court and compete, but I’m not expecting to come back and win Roland-Garros and Australia. That looks like very far away, even if not impossible. Things in sport change very quickly," Nadal told Movistar+ in September.

Nadal plans to play his final year on the Tour in 2024. "Since Indian Wells last year, it has been a hard year and a half, with no peace of mind at all. There was no way to recover without surgery. I was not going to recover by stopping for a long time.

I made the decision, and it turned out well. I'm not sure what I'm going to do in 2024. My hope is in two months to know how and where I am. Yes, I can play, but I am not in a position to win at Roland-Garros. Maybe I would like a farewell tour.

I live every day with the hope of giving myself the opportunity to have the option of deciding. My physique and my head will tell me," Nadal said in the same interview.

Serena Williams Rafael Nadal