Would you believe, hard courts are easier on your knee than grass? That’s how Rafael Nadal feels. After reaching his 12th US Open quarterfinal Monday, Nadal talked about the difference hard courts are vs grass courts on his knees. But overall, it’s more damaging to the body.
“For me is a little bit easy to play here than on grass. But at the same time, being honest with you, I feel that this surface is much more aggressive than grass or clay in all aspects, no?” Nadal said. “For the hip, for the knees, for the ankles, for the back. Is true that the players are playing longer, but at the same time, young players are playing a lot on hard, and I don’t know if that going to be very healthy for the future, no?
“Is something that is difficult to change, because is true that the tournaments on this surface is probably easier to maintain and probably less expensive for the organization, but at the same time, is not for me today, but is the most aggressive surface for the body.”
Tomorrow, knees willing!, Nadal will be the big favorite against Grand Slam debutante Andrey Rublev. But Rafa isn’t taking the 19-year-old lightly nor is he looking ahead to a potential Roger Federer match on Friday.
“He’s a great guy,” Nadal said of Rublev. “He have been in Mallorca practicing with me a couple of years ago.
“Maximum respect for him and going to be a tough one. He played already great matches, winning against Dimitrov, against Goffin in straight sets. Is not a moment to talk about Federer for me.”
Nadal does envy Rublev’s youth.
“I always wanted to be young,” Nadal said. “Even when I was 8 years old, I was not very happy to when I was, my birthday, to be 9. Still the same. I am 31, and I am not happy when my birthday going to be 32. I am happy being young, no? I don’t want to get older. For the moment, I didn’t find the way to stop that watch.”
Nadal isn’t the only one searching for that elusive “fountain of youth”, though for now from his results, Roger Federer may have found it.
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