Fabrice Santoro talked about Rafael Nadal's "monstrous stroke"

The former World No. 17 explained what makes the Spaniard so strong when it comes to hits.

by Alice Cimino
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Fabrice Santoro talked about Rafael Nadal's "monstrous stroke"

Rafael Nadal, red-dirt master, strolled into The Championships as the most recent Grand Slam winner on the ATP tour, strong with confidence and will. However, his crown of 12 French Open titles does not seem to bear the same influence when it comes to grass tournaments, as the King of Clay was ousted in four sets by Roger Federer in a much anticipated Wimbledon semi-finals clash -- the first encounter which starred the two legends at the All England Club since 2008.

Despite somehow being a remake of the 11-year-old final on paper, Friday’s match was very different from its ancestor in on-court essence. Aside from other aspects, both players demonstrated an upgrade in their overall game.

Fabrice Santoro, former World No. 17 known for his winning demeanor, has analysed for L’Equipe Rafael Nadal’s stroke evolution. "When I see him [playing],” the French said, “I think that Rafa is going to finish his career by hitting backhands harder than forehands!

It [Rafael Nadal’s backhand] has become a monstrous stroke. It starts cross-court, then parallel and it doesn’t have the same trajectory as the forehand: it flies very close to the net and just spurts. He does not change his striking plan, but his open stands are hyper-anchored, and he has this right hand which is very strong because he is right-handed.

A right-handed backhand shot and a forehand shot with both hands." The Spaniard's next step now is the Montreal Master 1000, where he figures in the entry list next to Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer among others.

Fabrice Santoro Rafael Nadal
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