Rafael Nadal met the press Friday in Miami where’s he’s never won the title, finishing runner-up four times including to his rival Novak Djokovic who he says has been dominating the sport too much lately, which isn’t necessarily good for tennis.
“It’s obvious that now is better for Novak,” Nadal said about rivalries in the sport. “I think the real thing is rivalries are good. In my opinion is not good if win a tournament every week a different player, because if there is 20 players winning tournaments different weeks, the people arrive to the tournament and nobody knows who are the favorite to win.
“It’s difficult because the people needs to support one player. So you need the stars. To create the stars you need players that have been there for a long time and players competing for the most important events very often. At the same time, it’s good to have combination of styles; it’s good to have different players that fights for the important things, and one or another can win.
“So I think happened the last 10, 12 years, and now for last year and a half, two years one is dominating maybe too much. But he deserves.”
Nadal also talked about the future of the tennis and the need for change even in the rules.
“The sport in general needs to improve in all aspects, and it’s obvious that the players today are taller than before,” Nadal said. “The racquets hits the ball harder than before, four years before.
“Same time, is true that nothing changed in our sport in terms of rules. How high is the net, everything. So for the moment is obvious that the tennis have been tremendous successful for I think a long time now. The sport is healthy, but it’s obvious at the same time we need to move to predict the future.
“I’m not talking for my generation, but for the next generation. It’s true that the people, in my opinion, likes the drama, the rallies. I don’t remember amazing matches that was only one serve and one shot. The matches that the people remember most are matches that they are slow matches with unbelievable points, and the applause of the people or the emotions of the people are not only with one serve and one shot.
“You know, the people gets emotional when the points are intense, long. If every time we make that happen less often, it’s obvious that our sport can be in trouble for the future.”
Nadal begins play this afternoon against Damir Dhzumer in his opening round match. Last year, Nadal lost to countryman Fernando Verdasco in the third round in three sets.
“The difference is I’m enjoying on court,” Nadal said comparing last year to this year. “I’m not feeling that nerves on court. I’m not feeling that strange feeling that I never felt. I am enjoying on the practices, I am enjoying on the tennis court. I feel with the right energy. I can lose, I can win, but I am happy on court. That’s the most important thing. That’s the big difference on what happen last year, what I told last year.”
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