19 time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal has said that he would like fewer hardcourt tournaments on the tennis tour so that future generations of players are not impacted as much by the wear and tear of playing on hardcourts for an extended period of the season.
Rafael Nadal says he would like fewer hardcourt events in the future
The World No. 2 Nadal was speaking to a group of the international media earlier this week via video call and restated his desire that the tennis tour should have fewer hardcourt events and that the development of less physically demanding surfaces should be pushed.
The Spaniard also said he knew the change would not benefit him as it would take time, but said it would be helpful for the future generation of players. "Playing on hard court is hard for the body. I see this solely from a health point of view.
We have to find surfaces for future generations that are a little less demanding on the body. I am a big fan of hard court tennis. But in my opinion we cannot play 75 percent of the tournaments on the tour on hard court because it is just too demanding for our body, not only during our career but also with consequences for afterwards (post retirement)."
Nadal, who has won 12 of his 19 Grand Slam singles titles on clay, said he he knows the change won't happen quickly so knows that it will not benefit him but says it is better for the future of the sport. "It is not about my generation, it will not change that quickly.
I think we need answers from medical professionals. They have to test it, analyze it. The sport has developed, everything is strengthened every few years, the players become faster, the movements in tennis become more aggressive.
It's time to find slightly softer rubbers (surfaces) that generally meet physical needs of players better." The Spaniard is ranked No. 2 in the world. He has won 19 Grand Slam titles, which is second only to Roger Federer's record of 20 Grand Slam singles titles.
He has also won a record 35 ATP Tour Masters 1000 titles, 21 ATP Tour 500 titles and the 2008 Olympic gold medal in singles. In addition, Rafael Nadal has held the world No. 1 ranking for a total of 209 weeks, including being the year-end No.
1 five times. Of his 19 Slam titles five of them have come on hard courts - four US Open titles and one Australian Open title.