Thanks to CC for alerting me to this article by Richard Eaton
“I have had a lot of problems in the head,” the former world number one said after winning 6-1, 2-0 when his opponent, the Belgian qualifier Steve Darcis, retired after only 35 minutes of very one-sided action.
“I have had under-confidence and things in the head – but that’s life. You have to accept problems and you have to come back. I am trying. We will see what happens in the next six months.”
Yes, let’s see. Step by step – you’ve been on the right track so far this year.
Nadal was asked whether the media has been too impatient with him – suggesting that he is not the player he was, for having reached just one final since returning from a three-month absence in August.
“We will see in a few months,” Nadal replied amicably. “Everyone is free to talk. I can say nothing against them. I didn’t win against the best players.
“But that’s tennis – you can’t be all the time one hundred percent. I am ready to try and win tournaments, but you never know what will happen. You have to work every day, every week, and wait your moment.”
That is the tennis. Compared to the end of last year, he does seem more ready to try and win.
During the very short time Nadal was on court it was apparent that he was trying to be more forceful with his first serve, later volunteering to having made small improvements identified after many hours of watching videos with his uncle.
I just can’t imagine watching hours of onself doing anything on video. Then again, I can’t imagine seeing your own face plastered on billboards, etc. Oh well – keep it up, Rafa. So far it looks like all the work is paying off!