For a long time in tennis there were two names, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Both shared the grand slams between them. While both are now older with Federer over the age of thirty – while still competing in and around the business end of tournaments he hasn’t won a grand slam since 2012 when he captured Wimbledon.
Nadal however is still under the age of 30, at 28 years of age and only a year older then current World number 1 Novak Djokovic. Nadal however is not making final after final like he used to. The Spaniard is still a grand slam champ however as he holds the 2014 French Open – where he beat Novak Djokovic in the final.
After a recent loss to fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco, Nadal spoke openly to a press conference and admitted to his mental fragility at the biggest moments in games.
‘It’s not the question of tennis. The thing is the question of being relaxed enough to play well on court. Something that if I tell you one month ago or one month and a half ago I didn’t have the game.
Today my game in general has improved since a month and a half. But at the same time, still playing with too much nerves for a lot of moments, in important moments i’m still playing with a little bit of anxious on those moments.
For example, at 4-3 in the first set, and then in the 5-4, 30- love. Something that didn’t happen a lot during my career. I have been able to be under control, control my emotions during, let’s say, 90%, 95% of my matches of my career, something that today is being tougher to be under self control. But I gonna fix it. I don’t know if in one week, in six months, or in one year but I gonna do it.’
The encouraging aspect for Nadal fans and tennis fans in general is that final line. Nadal still has the hunger and drive to get back to the top of his game.
Djokovic is tennis’ number 1 player, and rightly so, the Serb has dominated the game in recent years but xan Nadal regain the mantel of world number 1 that was once his?