Rafael Nadal has won his 67th career title at Hamburg yesterday and with that he registered his 47th title on clay. With Hard court season around the corner it was quite surprising that the Spaniard decided to play in a clay court event. The 29 year old clearly mentioned before the tournament that reaching ATP world tour final is his goal and he is in search of points in order to secure his place. It paid huge dividends for the Spaniard as he went on to win the title in Hamburg.
So does this help the Spaniard to play his best in the upcoming Hardcourt season? Well, there are couple of things the Spaniard can feel happy about in his game in the recently concluded bet-at-home open.
Thing which worked out for Nadal in Hamburg:
While Nadal’s first serve lacked pace, his forehand has been consistent to an extent if not to his usual best. Nadal’s backhand has been impressive and consistent throughout the tournament which is a good sign. As it is the most dominating surface for the Spaniard, he relied much on his huge top spin and it worked out well. Nadal managed to come out on top in the crucial points which he was struggling in the previous tournaments.
Things needed to be improved in the upcoming Hardcourt season:
The most dominating force is Nadal’s game is his monstrous forehand. However, it is not a major weapon for him at the moment. While Nadal’s cross court forehand has been good, his famous down the line forehand is ailing him at the moment and couldn’t pull the trigger on important points. Down-the line forehand worked great against Andreas Seppi in his semi-final clash but it was rarely seen in the Finals against Fognini. The most important aspect the Spaniard should improve in his game is his serve. Nadal maintained a good first serve percentage in almost all his matches, but it was more of a second serve. The Spaniard lacked penetration in his first serve and none of the opponent found it hard to return his serves. In the upcoming Hardcourt season Nadal can’t afford to do that if he needs to be successful.
With less pressure with no points to defend Nadal can be aggressive and his latest Hamburg triumph will certainly be a huge boost of confidence for the rest of the season.
Nadal’s next tourney will be Rogers cup in Montreal which begins on August 10th. Last time when the Spaniard played in that tourney in 2013, he emerged as a champion beating the home favourite Milos Raonic in straight sets.