Written by Senior Tennis Editor Peter Gehr
If the world No. 2 is going to return to dominate the game, does the Rafael Nadal tennis bag of tricks include a new coach? The Spaniard’s tactics and strategies need to change and with Uncle Tony at the helm, I’m not sure if Nadal’s team can think outside the box enough to achieve what’s needed. There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that this athlete has enough in him to keep winning and seizing some highly prized Grand Slams, but his greatest threat remains in Novak Djokovic.
Although the amazing feat of strength and energy was displayed on court during the epic Australian Open final, it was still not enough to crack the Serbian nut, who endured the grueling and arduous attack from Nadal and finally defeated him after almost 6 hours of power-packed volleys in an onslaught of tennis greatness that will not be forgotten in a hurry.
Does the Rafael Nadal Tennis Bag of Tricks Include a New Coach?
Kevin Pacelli contributes to the Bleacher Report the following views:
Although Rafa failed to emerge victorious from Down Under, he was able to show the tennis world that he still has what it takes to remain among the top players, by taking down long-time rival Roger Federer in the semis, and putting on quite a fight against Djokovic in that historic marathon of a final.
The question remains, though, whether or not he will ever be able to get back to the way he was before Djoker’s breakout in 2011. While Rafa will almost definitely win at least a few more Grand Slams, achieving the dominance that he exhibited during his reign at number one will be an incredibly difficult task for the Spaniard.
As hard as it will be, it’s not something that is completely out of reach. The first step would obviously be to beat Djokvoic in a big match.
Nadal’s last victory over the Serb was all the way back in December of 2010. Since then, Djokovic has undoubtedly been the superior player, beating his rival in seven straight matches. If Rafa hopes to once again take command of the ATP tour, he will need to start with a win over the current No. 1.
His best chance will come at Roland Garros this May. For a long time now, Nadal has been the king of the clay surface, with a whopping six French Open titles since 2005. Assuming the rankings remain the same between now and then, Rafa and Djokovic will very likely meet once again in the final, which would be a must-win for the Spaniard.
Once again, this won’t be an easy task, considering the fact that Djokovic did beat him in two clay finals last year (Rome and Madrid). If he does pull off the win, though, it will certainly be a step in the right direction.
If all of this occurs in May, Nadal may just have the momentum he needs to win one, or even both, of the remaining 2012 Slams. In, he would be back to his previous success, and we could expect a few more dominant seasons from him.
Now, let’s take a look at the alternative. Djokovic definitely has what it takes to win the 2012 French Open, consequently completing the Career Slam for him, and clinching the non-calendar Grand Slam. In this situation, Djoker will be near impossible to stop in the following months.
This would inevitably cause Rafa’s mental game to deteriorate, with little (if any) confidence going into each of their encounters.
If things play out this way, it is not likely that we will see much more from Nadal. A few more Grand Slam titles could still be coming his way, but if he doesn’t find a solution to the Djokovic problem soon, his days as a dominant figure in tennis will begin to slip away. Click here to visit the original source of this post
Does the Rafael Nadal tennis bag of tricks include a new coach? The 2012 season may need to include a comprehensive plan of attack to conquer the advancing abilities of Novak Djokovic in a game plan that includes new and fresh tactics. There’s no way Rafa can continue as usual, as this is not working against the Serb who has developed and learned to outsmart and outplay the Spaniard all too many times. Uncle Tony will definitely need a perceptive and innovative approach, or, just saying, but is it time for Nadal to get a new coach?