In an interview to French website Le Monde before the ATP Finals in London earlier this week, Rafael Nadal said some interesting things about tennis' future that he thinks will be more about power and speed. Nadal's observation also came after watching the score of the matches at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan where among many things, the shot clock was experimented.
Nadal thinks tactics will not be a priority for players and that would damage the sport. 'I don't think it's good for the entertainment that points are so fast,' the 16-time Grand Slam winner said. 'If the game is limited to serves or two shots rally, I don't believe people will keep loving tennis. The most surprising thing of Next Gen guys is the strong way they hit the ball. If you ask me, as tennis fan and not as player, I would tell you I prefer another style. However, it's not up to me to judge but to ATP,' added Nadal, indicating that net height should be bigger as players are taller and taller.
He also commented on Nick Kyrgios: 'I think Kyrgios is good to put in a show. I don't know if he is a good example for kids, but in terms of game he is spectacular enough, he has alternatives that others don't. Times are changing ... The new generation of players have different personalities from ours, they probably don’t like the sport in the same way as we do and don’t have the same ways of working..'
At this stage of your career, if you were to review it, what would it be? 'At 18 years old, many people were predicting my career wouldn't be long, because of my style of play. After 16 years on the circuit, I'm still there and very competitive. This is the thing that matters to me the most, beyond all the titles I could win. I don't dwell about the past. But Injuries, yes, they impacted (haunted) me.'
Asked how he deals with pain, he replied: 'Most of the time, thanks to anti-inflammatories! No, seriously, it's something you have to learn to live with. It's hard, but at the same time it's part of our daily life...'
Are there days when you play without pain? 'Hmm ... [He hesitates] Yes, there is, but the truth is that it doesn’t happen often.'
If he could, which quality or strenght would he take from Roger Federer? 'The serve. I would pinch his serve, more than his elegance. He plays very aesthetically of course, but I have other assets. In a way, I'm probably more powerful, I can be a little more spectacular in the sense that I sometimes hit winners in positions more difficult than him but of course, he is super-elegant, I’ve never seen anyone play tennis as elegantly as he does.'