Rafael Nadal revealed yesterday that after two unsuccessful events with the Aerodrive Play, he’s switching back to his old Babolat racquet, the AeroPro Drive.
“I’m changing that because I believe that I’ve been playing a lot of years with this racquet,” Nadal said. “I’ve had very little time to play with the new one. I know that the other racquet is the right one, and I’ll play well with it in the future. But I had just few days to prepare with that racquet just before Monte‑Carlo.
Even though in Monte‑Carlo I played pretty well, I know that here we play in altitude and I have a little less control with the new one.
“So I’m going to play with the old one, with this one, until the end of the season when I have enough time to train with the new prototype and time to adapt to it.”
Nadal said last month the newer frame gave him more spin, but the results didn’t measure up as the former No. 1 lost to Novak Djokovic in Monte Carlo then was stunned by Fabio Fognini in Barcelona.
The 4-time Madrid champion opens against Steve Johnson or Alejandro Gonzalez. The event is without World No. 1 Djokovic, which puts even more pressure on Nadal.
“Let’s see what happens,” Nadal said of Djokovic’s absence. “In that case, not for me, but I think that for other players they’re going to have an opportunity. I think the players that are playing well, the players that have faced Djokovic, they played a couple times in the quarters and semifinals, and now they have an opportunity to win a big tournament now that he’s not playing here. That doesn’t mean that you cannot win big tournaments when he is playing, but it’s difficult to win all the tournaments of the year, of course.”
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