Former World No. 1 and tennis expert Jim Courier has said that Rafael Nadal is vulnerable in humid conditions such as those seen this week during the inaugural edition of the ATP Cup in Australia. Speaking while commentating on the ATP Cup during his match against Belgium's David Goffin, Courier, a two-time Australian Open champion, says, “The humidity is a third party to what is going on out here.
It is definitely affecting Nadal. You don’t often see Nadal go to the sawdust [like he appeared to against Goffin]. In Paris in recent years, when it has been humid, he has used tape on his wrists to keep his wristbands from sliding because of perspiring.
He is just one of those guys that sweats more than most and as a result, he suffers more than most in these conditions. He is as fit as they come. We’ve seen him play six hours and still be standing in an Australian Open final against Novak Djokovic.
But he is vulnerable. When he comes from a dry climate, the first couple of days and athlete changes from dry to humid conditions, your body is not used to it and it can really impact you”. Nadal was beaten on Friday by Goffin during Spain's encounter against Belgium, although he did come back and help Spain win the doubles and the tie 2-1 to advance to Saturday's semi-finals where they will take on Australia.
Nadal has won 19 Grand Slam titles in his career, but just one of them have come in Australia - in 2009. He will be the top seed in Melbourne where he will be aiming to win a 20th Grand Slam title and equal Roger Federer for most number of Grand Slam titles won in men's tennis history.