Rafael Nadal ready for favorite surface, positive of clay court season outlook

Rafael Nadal ready for favorite surface, positive of clay court season outlook

Rafael Nadal has struggled the past couple of ATP seasons but the Spaniard stated in a recent interview that he’s ready to return to top form as the clay court season begins at this point of the tennis season. Known as the “Clay Court King” during his prime, Nadal has struggled physically and emotionally but promised he has recovered already from past physical and mental problems.

“Last year I was competing against myself and this year I am competing against rivals. I could not get over the anxiety,” Nadal shared to the Spanish press via The National. “I love what I do. I will train while I am happy. I do not feel anxious while playing. I do not have last year’s issues.”

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Nadal had a bad start in the 2016 ATP season highlighted by his first round loss at the first Grand Slam tournament of the year, the 2016 Australian Open. Nadal fell to compatriot Fernando Verdasco in the opening round for what was one of his disappointing losses in his career.

Rafael Nadal is currently ranked No. 5 in the world with rivals like World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Roger Federer all ahead of him in the ATP rankings. Unlike his rivals, Nadal’s performance on the court has also been criticized with fans and experts opining that he is not part of tennis’ elite players anymore.

Nadal has a record of 12 wins against 6 losses so far this season. He has won about half a million dollars in prize money but has zero titles to show for at this point of the year.

With the clay court season happening soon, Rafael Nadal has a chance to prove the doubters wrong and that he can still play his best games especially on his favorite surface.

Photo courtesy: Valentina Alemanno/Wikimedia Commons