The Tennis Channel pundit James Blake praised Rafael Nadal's win of his 12th title on Sunday against Dominic Thiem. Blake said: “That seems just unfair - a dozen at any event. At a 250, or 500 that’s incredible.
But to do it at a Grand Slam is just shocking. “In Monte Carlo, and even in Barcelona, people thought maybe he is finally deteriorating. But nope, get him back here where he’s totally comfortable and he’s playing so well.
It was just a matter of him getting healthy I think, with his knee giving him problems on the hard courts. He’s back comfortable on the clay, he felt he needed some matches to get back into the season but he’s fully into it now”.
In a column on El Pais, Dusan Lajovic's coach wrote: "The semifinal against Federer confirmed Nadal's evolution, who plays closer to the baseline, also on the return, in order to gain immediate court coverage.
If we remember the long series of matches played between both, he was hitting more towards the Swiss's backhand making him run, but he was also obliged to spend energies. Now he has added some variety. With the forehand, he manages not to turn too tired.
Federer looked for different ways, being the most talented player on tour. He tried to take his forehand early so that Nadal could start taking a lead."