The Rafael Nadal's coach Carlos Moya believes that the tough time that the 33-year-old went through in the last months, dealing with a lot of injuries, is a normal one. "I had never seen Rafa like this, especially in the clay season", admitted Moya.
"He was not motivated. He lost excitement and desire. It's strange that it happens in a tournament in Spain and on clay. We told him to keep fighting, making an effort, look forward. It's hard, but those are the steps a professional player goes through.
What he lived, I lived and many other tennis players lived it too. In the end, the team needs to adapt to what happens. When I see he is doing well, you have the highest exigency and when you see he is doing like this... You need to be lighter, have conversations, tell him why he needs to continue.
This happened to everyone, including Federer and Djokovic." Toni Nadal said: "I have the impression that today, frustration takes over players more quickly than before. And it’s not just in tennis, but a lot of other areas in society.
I think we’re too used to only saying nice things to everyone: “You’re very good”, but the truth is often different, even the opposite. At the Academy, when kids are upset because the ball goes out, I tell them: “What’s the problem? It goes out because you weren’t very good”.
Why did Rafael lose to Novak in the final in Melbourne? You don’t need to look very far, he lost because his opponent was better. Rafael didn’t play well, but he didn’t say a word when the score was getting away from him.
Behind two sets to love and 4-2, he wins a point and clenches his fist. He doesn’t talk to his team in the box. You need to learn that sort of attitude, that’s what I tell the kids. But when they’re back on court, they’ve already forgotten.
We all think we’re better than we really are, and I’m the first. If you think you’re too good, you want everything right away. But if you think you’re not as good as all that, then you tell yourself you need to learn, do, redo, and redo again.
And it makes all the difference. Reality is essential, dreams too. It’s the most important thing is to try and improve."