Despite many setbacks, Rafael Nadal ended the 2004 season in glory, defeating the world No. 1. 2, Andy Roddick, in the Davis Cup final in Seville, becoming the youngest player to win the final of the outstanding team competition.
Just outside the top 50 early in the following season, Nadal lost to Ivan Ljubicic in the quarterfinals in Doha and was eliminated in the first game in Auckland with minor breathing problems, hoping to play safely in the first Major of the season.
season in Melbourne. The youngster got off to a great start against Julien Benneteau before surviving a rigorous five-set test from Mikhail Youzhny to move into the last 32. Bobby Reynolds failed to do much against the world’s most promising youngster, who lost just five games and sealed the final in the 90th minute to fuel energy for the much-anticipated fourth-round clash with Lleyton Hewitt at the Rod Laver Arena save up.
The Aussie beat the Spaniard in 2004 after winning two tie-breaks and worked even harder on this one, going 7-5 3-6 1-6 7-6 6-2 in three hours and 53 minutes. scored triumph. Hewitt won just two points more than Nadal, who had a massive lead in sets two and three, motivated to show his best tennis in the deepest Majors run to that point.
In the end, Lleyton weathered all challenges in the fourth set to secure the tiebreak, leaving the youngster with nothing in the tank in the decider. Rafa made five breaks and Lleyton responded with six, delivering his best tennis in the tie-break where he had no room for error and using that momentum to speed through a decider and leave a teenager empty-handed.
Nadal is not yet in full form
In a lengthy interview, Patrick Mouratoglou shifted his focus to Rafael Nadal’s new and improved first serve. “His serve went from a way of starting the point to an actual weapon. He changed some elements in his technique that allowed him to gain more power.
One of the biggest changes is improving its weight delivery. [You can notice] how little his body was involved in the shot compared to how much he’s throwing himself forward now,” Mouratoglou told Impact.
He added a new shot to his game. In the Australian Open final, we saw him use the slice a lot to bring [Daniil] Medvedev online. He even used the drop shot to make him doubt,” Mouratoglou said. “Rafa also improved his volleying game and now you will see how he comes into the net. If he hadn’t made those changes, I don’t think he would be the player he is today.”