article KingofClay

Emilio Sanchez Vicario Talks Rafa


Slower balls do not stop Nadal of winning in Montecarlo (English & Spanish)
18 04 2011

Seven Montecarlos. People do not really know the difficulty of achieving such a tremendous record, but this is Rafa Nadal, he is so special that he makes difficult things easy. Although this victory may seem one more, I want to emphasize that there is a difference from the past years because the balls have changed. Some people may think “who cares”, but this is very important, and for this reason Rafa’s triumph has even more merit.

The past years the tournament was played with a much more alive ball, which is the ball that the Spanish team always chooses for its Davis Cup confrontations, because the bounce gets a lot of effect, for that reason is the preferred ball for the Spaniards, and especially for Rafa. With this ball, his convoluted strokes are almost impossible to defend. In this tournament edition, the ball was much slower and did not take the effects as much. We could see it in semifinals against Murray, in some moments it appeared that Nadal could not overwhelm him, he even seemed helplessness in some moments, but fortunately Rafa is physically much more superior and thus he end up winning the match anyways. The next tournaments will also be played with these balls, and for sure the matches will get even closer.

It should also be noted that the organization of Roland Garros has also changed the brand of the tournament balls to a French brand, which has no experience in tennis balls. It is unknown how these new balls will be, but surely they will not benefit the Spaniards.

I was fortunate to be in Montecarlo on Thursday and Friday, and Rafa said to me:
“I practiced awful, but as soon as I play competition I feel much better”. 
Then I saw his match against Nieminen and I assure you that the level of Rafa in competition is sensational, without breaches, he has a tremendous presence but also a tremendous game. Nieminen, who is a good player, looked like a marionette that forgot how to play, mainly due to the magnetism and presence of his rival. I still think that Rafa keeps improving in all technical aspects, but even more in the mental, emotional and spiritual area, for that reason he keeps aspiring for more.

I talked a lot about Nadal as a player, but I want to thank him for being how it is, for all that he gives us, I want to thank him the big favor he does to me coming to the Forum that my Foundation organizes on Monday, May 2nd, the day before his debut in Madrid, where he will tell us how he sees his own success and why he thinks he shined more than others at a very young age. Rafa will be accompanied by Kun Agüero and Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon, two other early winners. This is the side that makes Rafa so special, a person who is able to bring back to the sport as much as the sport has given him.

Also congratulations to David Ferrer. This final, his best result, is a great success. As Rafa said after the match, he deserves to win a big tournament, but he had the misfortune to coincide with Rafa. For sure David will continue working hard and wait for his opportunity, and when it comes he will take advantage of it.

Congratulations Rafa and David,

Emilio Sánchez Vicario

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