Speaking to the press yesterday in Doha before his match Tuesday, Rafael Nadal said that his injured shoulder is feeling a lot better.
“The shoulder is better, I think,” said Nadal. “The shoulder needs more power, because when you have an injury there, the rest, the muscles around lose the power. But the problem, the injury, is much better. I am able to play today with no pain, so that’s important.”
Nadal also talked more about what he went through with his bad shoulder.
“I didn’t have the right time to prepare, because I had an injury in my shoulder, so I had to stop after Davis Cup finals,” he said. “So I finished on Sunday. I started next Wednesday, I wanted to not stop because the period of time is very short. So I wanted to keep practicing to be in form for beginning of the season, but I started on Wednesday. On Friday I had to stop for my shoulder. I really couldn’t play with my forehand and serve. So I stopped for two weeks.”
There has also been a lot of discussion about Nadal’s Aerodrive Babolat racquet which he made some changes to. Nadal had hoped to have 3-4 weeks to get used to the heavier frames but because of his shoulder recovery he only had one week to get ready for the new season. And Nadal admits it could be a bumpy ride early.
“After Davis Cup final I had all the racquets prepared at home to change, but in theory, I will have three, four weeks of right practice,” he said. “Finally I only had one week. But that’s the right moment to change. If not, when? You don’t have time, no? So probably a little bit tough now at the beginning maybe, yes. I cannot say that’s when you have to change. You cannot think that everything will be perfect from the beginning, but you make change thinking it will be better in the future. So probably, I don’t know‑‑ I don’t know how to say in English. Investment? Or to try to improve something, few things in my game that we believe we needed, like the winner, like a little bit the serves. So we thought this change, that’s can help, that’s nothing is magic, but that’s can help a little bit to improve that. But probably that hurts my game a little bit at the beginning. So is a risk for this beginning of the season? Obviously, yes.”
So far so good for Nadal. In his first match of the season he beat Philipp Kohlschreiber 63, 67(2), 63 today in the first round.
“I’m very happy about my level,” stated Nadal. “I think I played a very good first set. The only moment that I didn’t play well was the beginning of the second and after the tie-break. For the rest [of the match], I think I played solid.”
Nadal will now play Denis Gremelmayr in the second round.
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