Rafael Nadal explains his new career extension approach
Rafael Nadal will be 36 in a month and a half and he is still one of the best players in the world. The 21-time major champion leads this year’s ATP race having won 20 of 21 matches and secured a notable trophy at the Australian Open.
The Spaniard was among the players to beat in 2018 after a Major crown and three Masters 1000 trophies. Still, Rafa struggled to stay injury-free and play as many tournaments as he wanted. Winning 45 out of 49 games that year, Nadal skipped the final part of the season after the US Open and worked hard on his game ahead of a fresh start in early 2019.
The Spaniard has made some significant changes to his serving and game philosophy in general. He adopted the new serve motion and attacked from the first groundstroke to take advantage and shorten points. Armed with this new package, Nadal entered the Australian Open 2019 final after winning all 18 sets, pitting the title against Novak Djokovic, where he had no chance.
“It’s very emotional for me to be back in the Australian Open semi-finals. I’ve had a few issues at this event throughout my career. After being off the court for a time, this result means everything to me, and I want to thank the crowd.
It’s always special to play on this ground at Rod Laver Arena, and I’m delighted with the way I competed tonight. After such a long break, the possibilities of playing at this level were not so high. I feel lucky to be where I am now after everything I’ve been through.
Rafael Nadal spoke about his new approach at the Australian Open 2019.
During the offseason, I worked on my serve and the first shot. Here in Melbourne, I’ve hit many winners with my forehand right after serve; Its very important.
If I want to extend my career for a few more years, I will have to find many free points and continue to work on them in the future; it is a crucial element at this stage of my career. I’m enjoying my new serve and hitting that first forehand.
I used it before to prepare the point, but it is more effective now. I feel lucky for all the people I have had around me throughout my career. My uncle is probably the most critical person of my career, but he decided to quit a year and a half ago.
Carlos Moya joined my team and he formed an excellent combination with Francisco. He gave me the other vision of the game, and it was important to change some things with him on the board. We are very organized and have a good preparation for matches.
We are a great team working together, which means everything to me. I always believed in long-term projects, even now, having had almost the same team for 20 years” said Rafael Nadal.