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By Richard Pagliaro | Wednesday, November 23, 2022


Grand Slam king Rafael Nadal shares a change he'd like to see to make tennis more entertaining.

Photo credit: Luis Robayo

Tennis is played in a rectangle.

Rafael Nadal wants to see the sport break out of the box.

More: Nick Bollettieri Tribute

Meeting the media in Buenos Aires ahead of his exhibition match vs. buddy Casper Ruud, Nadal was asked his thoughts on the state of the sport.

Tennis Express

The 22-time Grand Slam king said homogenization of surfaces and speed of play has created a stylistic sameness. Nadal says he'd like to see more diversity of styles at play in the sport.

"I would like to see tennis that offers more opportunities, more diverse styles of play," Nadal told the media in Buenos Aires. "Today, because of the way it is played, in which the courts are made, the balls, most people play a very similar style because the speed at which you play and the conditions give you very little margin to implement a different tactic.

"On the clay track there is a little more time, it gives you the opportunity to think."

Reflecting back to his early years on the ATP Tour when he faced diverse stylists ranging from Roger Federer to Guillermo Coria to Andre Agassi to Ivan Ljubicic in some of his early finals, Nadal sounded nostalgic for the days when he felt points were developed rather than detonated.

  "Before the points were prepared waiting for the right ball to attack, not all balls were attacked, the right ball was expected," Nadal said. "Today there are no transition balls or point preparation.

"Every ball that is hit is with the aim of winning the point. I have done well, for me nothing should change, but emotionally speaking, I like more another type of sport, which allows you more options and implement a tactic."


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