Well, finally, Rafael Nadal has a new voice in his camp. In Carlos Moya, Nadal gets a fellow Mallorcan who’s a former No. 1, former Grand Slam champion and who’s got a proven record of making a different – he just led Milos Raonic to the No. 3 ranking.
Honestly, I’m all for it and I applaud Rafa for opening up to new ideas. I think he realized he’s not going to beat Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, etc, by maintaining status quo, so why not give it a shot?
At 31, Nadal doesn’t have much time left in that hourglass. Next season and 2018 and that will likely be it. His knees are bad, the wrist is now an ongoing issue and there will be new injuries, no one is immune (if Roger Federer isn’t!).
And at his age he wants one thing: win more Grand Slams. It’s a very tough ask but I think he still can do it in Paris but he needs a new perspective and Moya can help with that.
Under Toni and Roig, etc, Nadal was going stale. There was nothing new, really, just everything in decline. Serve not as great, forehand not as great, shot placement, etc. That fear factor he had was gone, gone long ago.
So hopefully Moya can stop the bleeding and inject some life into Rafa’s game. Maybe give Nadal some more belief and add a much-needed spark. Perhaps even adjust Rafa’s training regimen in effort to keep him healthier.
I said when Djokovic jettisoned Becker that Novak was good enough to not need a “supercoach”, but Rafa I think can reap some rewards.
Moya’s task will be to get that forehand back online and get more zip on that serve. And we saw Rafa uncharacteristically blow many leads of late, so that’s something that Moya will have to address. Can he do it? I don’t know as it’s hard fighting Father Time, but at least it’s a start. At least Rafa’s really trying. And sometimes that’s all you can ask.
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