Following a 63, 64 win over German qualifier Peter Gojowczyk in the second round at Beijing, Rafael Nadal ripped into the balls the tournament uses which are made by Head, the official ball of the ATP.
“The ball is so bad here,” Nadal to the AP. “If you throw the ball on the floor, the bounce goes everywhere. Is not a question of winning or losing. I won in Rio (earlier this year) with this ball. I won tournaments with this ball.
“It’s just that we’re competing at the top level of our sport, tennis, and the ball is an important thing.
“This week we are playing with one ball. Next week we are playing with a different ball,” he said. “That’s dangerous for the shoulder, dangerous for the elbow.”
Nadal does have a point. For example the circuit does have several different balls manufacturers. In addition to Head balls at the ATP events, the French Open uses Babolat, Wimbledon uses Slazenger and the US and Australian Opens use Wilson.
Nadal is playing his first event in three months since a loss at Wimbledon on July 1. The former champion and 2013 finalist is 14-2 at the Beijing event.
“Coming back in this part of the season is completely different than if I am coming back on clay. I would be able to be in rhythm a little bit faster, a little bit easier,” Nadal said. “The positive thing is that for another year I’m going to finish in a high position in the ranking, winning a Grand Slam again. I’m going to enjoy the remaining few tournaments. For me this last part of the season obviously is important. Every tournament is important for me. At the same time I want to finish with a better feeling possible to start the new season with good tennis.”
Nadal will play Friday in the quarterfinals against qualifier Martin Klizan who advanced when Ernests Gulbis retired down a set and a break with a shoulder injury.
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