Speaking on Eurosport the British TV presenter Annabel Croft analyzed Rafael Nadal's straight-set win over Yannick Hanfmann in the French Open first round on Monday. Croft praised Nadal's performance. "Very, very impressed with the way he was hitting the ball", she said.
"He always brings such an intensity out onto any match court. And regardless if he’s playing a qualifier or somebody much lower ranked he give the same respect levels every single time. The forehand was as devastating as ever.
What is interesting about the forehand is that he will vary the heights and make things uncomfortable [for his opponent]. He has this ability to flatten out the ball and it just looked like it had a fireball attached to it.
Almost more impressive was the backhand. We talked a lot about the improvements on the backhand side last year. Sometimes flattening out the ball, the ability to get the angles, the backhand is a vastly improved stroke. There didn’t seem to be any problem in terms of his movement.
Such an intensity, the footwork skills and at the net beautiful silky skills, drop shots. We saw a bit of everything, to be honest." What was Rafael's best moment with Toni? "There were many good moments", said Toni.
"I like to remember when he started winning big titles. The first in Monte Carlo, the first in Paris. Obviously the first at Wimbledon was special. But there were many other important tournaments off the lights. The desire he trained with, the strong way he hit shots.
Now he plays more aggressive and that was the logical evolution. When someone gets older and is not so fast anymore, you have to find other ways to win, like playing in a more aggressive way. Federer did it too. Both of them needed them."