It’s been almost two years since Rafael Nadal hoisted a Grand Slam trophy, but Carlos Moya hasn’t given up on his friend yet.
The former world’s no.1 and French Open winner believes neither age nor the injuries he suffered the past few years is the main reason why Nadal hasn’t found success in Grand Slam tournaments as of late. Instead, he thinks the Spaniard’s decision to try out different things on court and lack of concentration has cost him big matches.
Moya, who serves as coach for Australian Open semifinalist Milos Raonic, explained that Nadal is experimenting different tactics on the court, yet going outside his comfort zone has made him more vulnerable to his opponents.
For example in his first round loss against Fernando Verdasco at the Australian Open, he noticed several times that Nadal was returning balls a meter inside the baseline, but wasn’t effective at all.
Moya stressed that changing his playing style isn’t the answer to Nadal’s current dilemma. Sometimes, all the player needs is to get used to playing under pressure, regardless of the results.
“You can see he wants to play more inside the baseline. Against Verdasco, he was a metre inside the baseline, but he wasn’t doing any damage. Positioning isn’t everything. Being a metre inside the baseline and pushing the ball, that’s not the answer.
“Right now, Rafa is a bit confused when he plays under pressure. He should develop this game without thinking. Right now, we see him thinking.”
Moya has been rumored for quite some time as the possible leading candidate to coach Nadal, if he decides to part ways with his uncle, Toni Nadal. However, he denied all these reports and stressed that he hasn’t entertained the idea of coaching Nadal at all. In fact, he even predicted his friend to end his career with the same team.
Photo Courtesy: Rio Open