AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2014
Nadal Winning Blister Battle
by ATP Staff|
Not only has he had to battle past the likes of Roger Federer, Grigor Dimitrov and Kei Nishikori to reach the Australian Open final, but Rafael Nadal has also been challenged by a troublesome blister in the palm of his left hand.
The Spaniard has been forced to experiment with treatment and taping of the awkwardly placed blister, which he admitted has made it particularly difficult to grip the racquet when serving.
Speaking after his four-set quarter-final win over Dimitrov, Nadal said, “I feel that with the taping [on the blister], I can lose the racquet when I’m serving. That's my feeling. The racquet can go. That's a terrible feeling for a serve, because then when you have this feeling you are not able to accelerate at the right moment. You lose a little bit the coordination. That's a big deal.”
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In the next match against Federer, there was less taping on the wound, and Nadal needed assistance from the trainer just once in the early stages of the second set. It was an improvement, noted the left-hander.
“We made the tape a little bit smaller,” said Nadal. “That helped me. It is true that by making the tape smaller, I assume there is a little bit more risk that the tape can go. I don't know how many times I can change the tape during the match, because to change the tape I need the trainer. I need to wait for the end of the set. Or if it is an emergency that happens that the tape goes in that point, I need the trainer in that moment. If that happens again, I don't know what the rules are, but it is a little bit more risky.”
With each passing day, the blister has improved for Nadal. After his semi-final win, Nadal re-assured the media that he wasn’t suffering much pain from the injury; it was simply a problem of protecting it without hampering his tennis technique.
“The blister is good. It looks better every day,” said Nadal. “We are doing the right things. The blister today is not a problem anymore for normal life. It is not painful. The problem is playing tennis. The only problem is the position of the blister. If it were in another place, I would not have a problem because I didn't feel pain today. The problem is to cover that blister in the position where it is.”