‘When I hit the ball to Rafael Nadal, he went…’, says top coach

Following semi-final defeats in Monte Carlo and Barcelona, ​​No. 2 and five-time Madrid champion Rafael Nadal advanced to the fifth semi-final of 2019 in front of home fans, defeating former finalist Stan Wawrinka 6-1, 6- 2 in fast 68 minutes. It was Rafa’s best match on his favorite surface in the first three events two years ago, dominating both on serve and on return to leave the Swiss far behind and score the 18th win over Stan in 21 matches. Nadal celebrated the 372nd triumph of the Masters 1000 and the 52 in Madrid, giving up seven points with the service and never had problems in his games. Moving well and controlling the pace in the rallies, the Spaniard took advantage of 56% of the return points to score four breaks out of ten opportunities and bring the game home in no time. They had a similar number of winners, and mistakes were the element that determined the winner, with Rafa staying at six and Stan counting to 24, adding the majority with his right hand, which couldn’t do much against steady and persistent shots on the other side of the game. network. As the result suggests, Nadal had the upper hand in the fastest, mid-range and more extended exchanges, doing everything right on the pitch and giving his fans hope that he could go all the way in Madrid after failing to reach the final in Monte Carlo and Barcelona. Nadal held out in the first game and secured another serve turn at 1-1 to stay ahead. Wawrinka suffered a scoreless break in the fourth game following a double fault, and Rafa opened a 4-1 gap with a perfect shot. Unable to find range or open space, the Swiss added a forehand error at 1-4 for another break at zero, allowing Nadal to close out the first set with his serve in the next game 6-1. in 27 minutes. Nothing changed in the second set, and the Spaniard took a break at 2-2 after an impressive defense and a forehand error from Stan. Nadal forged another break in the seventh game and went ahead with his serve to zero a few minutes later, landing a winning serve to set up Stefanos Tsitsipas’ clash in the semifinal.

Uncle Toni reflects on his nephew

In an interview with the BBC, Uncle Toni opened up about his two-decades-long partnership with his nephew and provided insights into what molded Rafael Nadal into one of the greatest players of. “When I hit the ball to Rafael, he went towards it. He didn’t wait for the ball to arrive to him,” Toni said, referring to Rafael Nadal’s early years. “Normally, when I sent a ball to a small kid, he stood and waited until the ball arrived at him. But my nephew, he went looking for it. For me, this was special.” Toni Nadal did not dispute what was written in the book and said he was confident his nephew could cope with whatever was thrown at him. “I demanded a lot from Rafael because I cared a lot,” Toni asserted. “I believe in the work and I believe in the players who are strong enough to cope with the intensity of this work. I cannot understand another style of life. In my opinion you always have to know your place in the world. This is why I was like this with Rafael. I knew he could cope. I wanted him to know that everything he achieved at that age was not very important in terms of the bigger picture,” Toni added. 

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