It was a big surprise to see Rafael Nadal so absent this year. It was a rough year for Nadal, who failed to reach a single grand slam semi-final in 2015. He saw a quarterfinal loss to Djokovic at the French Open, a second round loss to No 102 Dustin Brown at Wimbledon and a round-of-32 defeat by Fabio Fognini at the US Open. Nadal hasn’t lifted a grand slam trophy for the first time since 2004. But is the bull planning something behind the matador’s back?
In an interview with Sky Sports Nadal said “I don’t know if I can win another Grand Slam, I don’t know if I can do it, but I believe I can do it.” He seems to understand he needs to make some changes to get to the level he’s used to seeing in himself. It was tough seeing him struggle so much, knowing what he was once capable of. But he did say “I have to change, yes. I have to change one very important thing – be the player I was one year ago.” So was he using this season as a solid match play practice run?
Was the raging bull purposefully masking himself to position an attack? It’s been done before, purposefully losing matches to strike better tournaments. But is he poised to make a comeback and snatch points by the fistful!? Since it’s a season of obtaining and retaining points, Nadal with a finish in 8th position can start next year dethroning the current king of tennis, Nole, right off the bat. Meeting in quarters, thats tons of points taken from Djoker and given to Rafa. Taking big bites out of the unreal lead Djokovic has created.
Nadal could have placed himself perfectly if he really does have that ace up his sleeve. With a strong end to the season and offseason he could be ready to run his topspin across everyones court.
Either that, or maybe he’s spent. Maybe his style of play finally got to him and he just has nothing left in the tank. But let’s hope to see a strong return from one of the hardest grinders in the sports history. VAMOS RAFA!