Rafael Nadal Says His Serve Is Not 100% Because He’s Scared About His Back
by Tom Gainey | March 9th, 2014, 10:52 am

Following his 3-set win last night over Radek Stepanek at Indian Wells, top seed and defending champion Rafael Nadal admitted that he’s still scared of serving at 100% out of fear of re-injuring his back.

“A little bit scared for the back,” Nadal said. “I am not feeling yet 100% confident with my serve. Even if my back is better than Rio, in Rio I was feeling the back not very well.”

Nadal first injured the back during the Australian Open final loss to Stanislas Wawrinka, then he had to withdraw from Buenos Aires before returning to win Rio where he admits he couldn’t get his serve speeds to his normal levels.

“I have a better feeling than what I had in Rio, and that’s the most important thing. I have a day off tomorrow. I can practice my serve a little bit. I can try to serve the normal way again. I was serving very well before what happened to my back.”

Now it’s better and he’s encouraged, but last night he uncharacteristically served eight double faults because he doesn’t trust it mentally.

“I didn’t serve for 10 days, said Nadal. “So I only started serving a few days ago.

“I wasn’t serving badly during practice, but I was changing my service motion a little bit to protect my back.

“[Tonight’s] match will help me understand that I really can start to serve with my normal motion again, without limitations and without feeling scared about my back.”

Nadal will play Alexandr Dolgoplov in a Rio Open final rematch on Monday.

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11 Comments for Rafael Nadal Says His Serve Is Not 100% Because He’s Scared About His Back

Dc Says:

I don’t like this back issue with nadal. I hope Nadals back gets better soon and he can crib talk about his regular injury excuses.

pigoonse Says:

That was a weird match with Stepanek. Now watch how he applies the buzz saw to Dolgopolov.

skeezer Says:

We all knew there was gonna be an excuse for almost losing the the 35 yr old Step. What else is knew with this charactor? And here it is. He was afraid ………really? Hope he doesn’t get a hangnail, he may wind up coming up with another excuse for losing….errr…winning…errr…. Both. Whatever, he’s well documented in all this kind f behavior.

Who wants to bet his back will be all better next round?
Oh..unless he loses of course.

Dc Says:

Injury excuses when winning have always been part of Nadals physiological games . The message he is giving is that he can beat players even when injured .Now in few days he will claim his back is good , injecting fear into his opponents.

Nadal does not want anyone to think that a 35 year old player almost defeated him . This would inject confidence and belief into his opponents. Giving this statement has killed any belief an opponent could develop regarding defeating a healthy or even injured Nadal.

As usual , Nadal leaves no stones unturned – hes the master of the psychological aspects of the game

kriyuk Says:

Well noted and justified for another round of TUE

Ticket sales update: pretty good


Giles Says:

“Almost” is never enough!!!
Did the 35 year old win? NO!!
Result stands!

Translated Age Says:

Wow so much has changed with these comments.

I’m sure it will be Federer’s turn talking about his back again.

Oh wait that’s right, he hasn’t stopped yet.

DC Says:

Fed making excuses wont help him. In the past few years, people have been beating him even when he is fit.

Nadal on the other hand is the current # 1 and had a terrific year. He started 2014 as the man to beat. Any psychological game he can play to keep players convinced that he is unbeatable when fit will help him.

Okiegal Says:

Win this tiebreaker. Rafa!!

Okiegal Says:

Oh, crap…match point Dolgo

Dc Says:

Nadal losses . I sincerely hope he doesn’t make any injury excuses now . Doglo played really well today and deserves full credit.
Doglo displayed high degree of variation in his game , which kept nadal guessing. He mixed the speed of his shots and his vast aresan of strokes kept nadal on the run .Awesome display and congrats to our fellow friends from Ukarine.

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