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What Makes Nadal the Master of Clay Courts

oleh Jaclyn Briscoe (2020-01-28)

There isn't any doubt that Rafael Nadal is among the finest tennis players to ever live. Under his belt are 17 grand slam titles — most notably eleven French Open Titles. Nadal has only misplaced 2 matches at Roland Garros, and dominates this surface like nobody ever has. The left hander is now competing for his twelfth French Open Title, seeded second in the whole tournament behind Novak Djokovic. However, regardless of the seed, it's hard to not consider Rafa will once again reign supreme on clay. Check out among the factors that make Rafael Nadal essentially the most harmful player to face in France.

Prime Spin.
Rafael Nadal has a ferocious left handed forehand. One of the biggest factors in his swing is the incredible quantities of high spin he puts on the ball. Clay is a surface that slows the ball down drastically, so it permits Nadal the chance to set himself and hit with maximum prime spin. Thus, his opponent would be run around and forced to retreat from the baseline due to the high spin. Clay slows the ball down unlike grass or hard surfaces, which feeds into Nadal’s energy of ball power and spin.

Clay courts require — more than others — psychological and physical conditioning. Specifically, he's skilled in consistency. In case you watch a match or perhaps a training session of Nadal’s on clay, he rarely makes errors. Instead, he is centered on wearing down his opponents. Because clay slows the ball so much, it’s very difficult to get that momentum swinging winner or ace. Instead, clay makes errors the momentum swingers — and Nadal’s athleticism and makes errors low percentage.

Clay roots.
Nadal was trained by his uncle and former professional tennis player — Toni Nadal. Growing up in an athletic, Spanish household, clay was the dominant surface. Rafa and Toni trained on clay, thus molding his game around the high spin, endurance type of the game.

Nadal’s success on clay was forged early on, and his development was formed across the clay court he trained on and grew on. He continues to succeed due to his conditioning, powerful top spin, and psychological power that all caters to the self harmful surroundings of tennis clay offers. Rafa is now in search of his 12th title in Roland Garros, and although seeded 2 in 2019, he has proven time and time again that he is the very best to ever do it in France — and shall be a power regardless of what.

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