After Two Events, Rafael Nadal Has Gone Back To His Old Babolat Racquet
by Tom Gainey | May 4th, 2015, 10:11 am

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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19 Comments for After Two Events, Rafael Nadal Has Gone Back To His Old Babolat Racquet

skeezer Says:

I thought I could play better than I could drive, but this was nearly impossible, no? Now, I will try drive better and play less, this may be my solution to bring back the Vamos.

Giles Says:

Just do what you feel is right for you Champ!

Giles Says:

Poor old skeezer stalking the Rafa threads cos there ain’t no fed thread!! Lol

sienna Says:

same pattern as Roger had.
midseason switch no good.

I think many more similarities between both of them.

so maybe there will folow a slamless year.

does he have the urge and drive to pursue #17?
It seems his only goal left in tennis.

El_Flaco Says:

It was not a good time to try out a new racquet. He should have done it at the beginning of the season and if the racquet was still in the design phase at that point then wait until after the clay season. Nadal switched to the black strings at the beginning of 2010 season if my memory is correct, not at the start of the clay season. I also think Nadal added weight to his racquet maybe a year or two later also at the beginning of the year.

Emily Says:

Isn’t Dimitrov having the same issue right now, perhaps leading to his poor results? Maybe Rafa was pressured by Babolat, but he needed to switch at the beginning of the season when there was less pressure.

Emily Says:

as in expectations for good results, using that time to get ready for the clay season

Giles Says:

Rafa played 2 tourneys with the new racquet, MC and Barcelona.

SG1 Says:

sienna Says:
same pattern as Roger had.
midseason switch no good.


Wow Sienna. You and I agree about once a decade…but this is one of those moments.

Quite true that Roger struggled during a mid-season switch as Rafa is right now. Novak also struggled when he changed his racket about 5 or 6 years ago (…I think).

I tend to agree that equipment changes need to be made in the off-season (…if there even is such a thing). Trying to figure out your opponent and your equipment at the same time seems like a recipe for losses.

sienna Says:

yes but I am more concerned of the underlying reasons.
things are not working as it should (obviously) but to think gear is gonna change that.

it just further damage confidence. also adds confidence to opponent.

sienna Says:

Bullcrap… Babolat has nothing on him to switch racket.
you really think he would change it for commercial reason…

think again.

there is one who could do that and it would be a fight.

the DA Says:

Didn’t Roger abandon his larger racquet soon afterwards and retreat to the more familiar one before waiting for a better stretch to try it out?

Dan the Man Says:

I disagree that the end of the clay season would be the best time to try a new racquet. Sure, the off season is the best because you have more time on the practice courts, but the stated difference is that the new racquet adds more spin. Clay would be the best surface for that for sure. For sure with Nadal, though, because of his OCD changing racquets would be traumatic. A player like him should be waiting to the end of the season. Any little change in any variable sets him off more than any top player.

Travis Bickle Says:

@Dan the man,

Are you the “dan the fan of stan the man” that I remember from another sites?

KatH Says:

A lot of uncertainty with a lot of the players at the moment – Wednesday should bring more clarity e.g. Rafal, Andy, Cilic – even Roger….would love to have a trusty crystal bowl…

Dan the Man Says:

@Travis Bickle, no I’m just Dan the Man. I like Stan, though, always liked him as a player.

tennismonger Says:

Looks like he has stayed w/the new paint job though – is that correct?

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