Rafael Nadal breezed in his opening round match last night at Indian Wells, but afterward took a shot at the balls the tournament is using.
“The ball is still not very well,” Nadal said. “Still problem with the same ball. We need to change that, because highest level of tennis deserve highest quality of ball. This ball is not the highest quality.”
Indian Wells uses the Penn ball while the Australian Open, for example, uses the Wilson ball. And the official ball of the ATP is Head! And this isn’t the first time Rafa’s been unhappy with the ball.
Nadal, who stays at tournament owner Larry Ellison’s house, was quick to praise the event.
“In general, the conditions and the tournament is, without a doubt, one of the best of the year,” Nadal said. “It’s unbelievable, everything about what’s happening here the last couple of years, the way that the tournament improves, how big is, all the facilities for the crowd, for the players.
A lot of stadiums are difficult to imagine a tournament away from Grand Slams improving that much, so just can say thanks to all the organization, everybody who makes possible that, to create an event like this. Especially to Larry Ellison. It’s great to have him on our tour supporting our sport. It’s amazing all the things that’s happening here. I think the crowd is one of the highest crowds on the world.”
Next for Nadal, a 3-time tournament champion, is another fellow lefty Donald Young.
“He’s playing very well,” Nadal said. ‘Winning a lot of matches. Could be a very tough opponent for me. After tomorrow I hope to be ready for it.”
But before then he has doubles today, an event he says helps his game.
“Doubles are great for practice for singles players,” said Nadal. “Playing doubles you practice the serve. You can return a little bit more aggressive. You practice the volley. You practice the movements on the volley. You know, how to go, how to volley tough shots, the speed on the legs, on that movements.”
And Rafa says he’s now moving better than he was when he reached the Rio final and won Buenos Aires last month. So that’s good news for Rafa and his fans.
“One very important thing for me are the movements, and I think I moved myself a little bit quicker tonight than what I was doing one month ago,” he said.
Nadal won the event in 2007, 2009 and 2013. With 2015 be another odd-year title for Rafa?
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