‘Rafael Nadal started with very strong claycourt trends’, says top coach

The next few weeks bring two Masters 1000s and the final Major of the season at the US Open. Players will be fighting for 4,000 points, and we should see changes to the ATP Race roster in six weeks. As we all know, Wimbledon offered no points this July, and there have been no significant changes to the list since the end of Roland Garros. Nine players have earned more than 2,000 points since the start of the year, with Novak Djokovic falling behind them having dropped 2,000 points for a well-deserved title at the All England Club. At 36 years old, Rafael Nadal comfortably leads the ATP Race To Turin. The Spaniard won the first two titles of the season, adding 5,620 points and leaving his compatriot Carlos Alcaraz with 4,270. Nadal withdrew from Wimbledon before the semi-final due to an abdominal injury. He should compete in Canada next week, seeking his sixth title at this event. Carlos Alcaraz had a chance to reduce the deficit with Nadal in the previous two weeks, reaching the final in Hamburg and Umag and losing both. The teenager is 1,350 points behind Nadal, and still has a good chance of fighting for the No. 1 of the year at the end of the season. Stefanos Tsitsipas is third, with 4010 points in 2022 and expecting more in Canada next week. Casper Ruud is fourth, with 615 points ahead of Alexander Zverev. The German hasn’t played since that nasty ankle injury against Nadal at Roland Garros, and he should be back on the court in September. Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev are behind Zverev, and could overtake him next week. Medvedev is No. 1 in the world ahead of Zverev, and he should get a couple of wins in Los Cabos and in Canada to stay ahead of the German on August 15.

Mouratoglou speaks about Nadal

Renowned coach Patrick Mouratoglou recently explained the science behind Rafael Nadal’s lethal topspin forehand. “He started with very strong claycourt trends, but throughout the years he has technically worked a lot on it to make it adaptable to every surface,” Mouratoglou said. “He starts his preparation in a traditional way by using his non-dominant arm to push his racquet back, head of his racquet points at the sky. As you see, the roll of the right arm is crucial as it creates rotation of the shoulder. While he is pushing his racquet back, he loads strongly on the back leg,” Mouratoglou added. “You can see that thanks to the way he bends his left knee, preparing for transfer. Look now, it’s only while his racquet head is dropping to start his motion in the direction of the ball that his right arm is starting to move forward. At the same time, his bodyweight moves from the back to the front, to create a strong body transfer.”