'Rafael Nadal gets the rhythm he needs for...', says former ace

“Rafael Nadal is getting the rhythm he needs for…” says the former ace

As is so often the case, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams are among the biggest stars of the upcoming US Open. While Rafa will have more opportunities to compete on the more notable stage in the years to come, it is the last show for Serena to bow to her audience.

Nadal praised Williams, calling her a legend and saying it was a shame he was leaving the sport after giving her so much over the past 25 years. Set to compete in her 21st and final US Open, the veteran is deciding to retire from her beloved tournament, where she debuted in 1998 at the age of 16.

Williams has played just nine events since the start of 2021, reached two semifinals in Melbourne last year and has not repeated. Serena suffered an injury at Wimbledon last year and was absent from the courts for almost a year.

The American surprised everyone when she signed up for doubles at Eastbourne this June before facing another campaign at Wimbledon. Serena suffered a tough 7-5, 1-6, 7-6 loss to Harmony Tan in the first round at the All England Club.

Williams came to Toronto and faced Nuria Parrizas Diaz in the first game. The American prevailed 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 57 minutes, earning her first win in 430 days. Serena got three breaks and defended seven of her eight break chances to gain the upper hand.

Williams faced Belinda Bencic in the second round and suffered a 6-6-4 loss.

Latest update on Rafa Nadal

Former ATP Tour pro Alex Corretja believes Rafael can find Nadal on championship form next week in Flushing Meadows.

“Rafa needs that kind of training before a Grand Slam to be ready to play well as he has shown himself and everyone else and proved that with little practice and with small games he can get the rhythm he needs for the Grand needs slams,” Corretja said in a Eurosport discussion.

“I don’t think we should worry, of course it would have been great for him to play maybe three games before the US Open. And that would have been enough. But he could do that early in the tournament with some of the games he will play.

Last week he lost to Coric but it was okay; when you finish the tournament and see that the guy you lost to wins the tournament. I think it was probably one of the toughest seasons of his career where he came from and for the things he had early in the season and also mid season.

He, who comes from Indian Wells, also felt this danger and then missed some of the clay court tournaments. Then when he comes back he has foot problems and then he goes to Roland-Garros and then suddenly he won so again I’m so impressed with what Rafa is doing.

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