Alex Corretja, a former tennis pro and current coach, has pointed out a major flaw in Rafael Nadal’s game in his recent struggles. Nadal’s compatriot said that what fans are seeing is not the same Nadal as before with the World No. 5 struggling with his shot selection and attempting shots that are not normally in Nadal’s game plan.
“I am surprised especially by what we have seen in the last weeks. I think he practiced at good levels, he always wins games and matches fighting, but in the long matches loses during the week’ the 41-year-old Corretja said via Radio Marca.
‘Rafa had started well the season, but the loss against Fernando Verdasco at the Australian Open upset him. In Buenos Aires and Rio he played differently than usually, trying shots that normally we do not see him trying. This is synonymous with anxiety.”
Corretja is referring to Nadal’s first round loss at the 2016 Australian Open when he fell to compatriot Fernando Verdasco in five sets, 6-7 (6) 6-4 6-3 6-7 (4) 2-6. Recently, Nadal fell in the semifinals of the 2016 Rio Open to World No. 45 Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay in three sets, 7-6 (6) 6-7 (3) 4-6.
Corretja had career record of 438 wins against 281 losses. He has won 17 ATP titles but none in the majors. Corretja made the final of the French Open in 1998 and 2001 but lost both times.
The disappointing losses by Nadal have started speculations that Nadal may already be past his prime and far from his form that helped him to 14 Grand Slam titles in his career.
Corretja admitted that he still respects and believes in Nadal’s camp. However, Corretja said that the team should start talking about Nadal’s problems if they want the Spaniard to return to form.
“I hold high esteem for Rafa and his team. I think now they should talk each other, trying to understand the reason of this situation, and trying to return at the level of the previous seasons,” Corretja added.
There have been rumors that a change in Nadal’s coaching group will happen but the Spaniard has made no moves to change uncle and trainer, Toni Nadal.
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