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

“Rafael Nadal started with very strong clay court 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 battling for 4,000 points and we should see changes to the ATP Races squad in six weeks. As we all know, Wimbledon offered no points this July and there have been no major changes to the list since Roland Garros ended.

Nine players have accumulated more than 2,000 points since the start of the year, with Novak Djokovic lagging behind them after dropping 2,000 points for a well-deserved All England Club title. At 36, Rafael Nadal confidently leads the ATP Race To Turin.

The Spaniard won the first two titles of the season, adding 5,620 points and trailing compatriot Carlos Alcaraz on 4,270. Nadal pulled out of Wimbledon ahead of the semi-finals due to a stomach injury. He was due to compete in Canada next week and will be aiming for his sixth title at this event.

Carlos Alcaraz had a chance to close the gap to Nadal in the past two weeks, reaching the finals 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 expects more in Canada next week. Casper Ruud is fourth, 615 points ahead of Alexander Zverev. The German hasn’t played since that nasty ankle injury against Nadal at Roland Garros and should be back on the pitch in September.

Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev are behind Zverev and could overtake him next week. Medvedev is world no.

Mouratoglou talks about Nadal

Renowned trainer Patrick Mouratoglou recently explained the science behind Rafael Nadal’s deadly topspin forehand. “He started out with very strong clay court trends, but over the years he’s done a lot of technical work to make him adaptable to any surface,” said Mouratoglou.

“He starts his preparation in the traditional way, pushing his racquet backwards with his non-dominant arm, with the head of his racquet pointing towards the sky. As you can see, right arm roll is crucial as it creates shoulder rotation.

As he pushes his racquet back, he puts a lot of weight on his back leg,” added Mouratoglou. “You can see that from the way he bends his left knee to prepare for the transfer. Now look, just as his clubhead lowers to begin its movement toward the ball, his right arm begins to move forward. At the same time, his body weight shifts from back to front to create a strong body shift.”

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