Nadal Adjusts To Grass After Tricky Opening Win
Wimbledon, Great Britain
by ATP Staff|
One year after an early exit at the All England Club, Rafael Nadal found himself in yet another tricky situation at The Championships on Tuesday.
The World No. 1, seeded second at this year’s Wimbledon, dropped the opening set in his first-round encounter with Martin Klizan of Slovakia, an ominous start for the two-time champion as he attempted to brush aside the hiccups from the previous two years, when he fell in the second round to Lukas Rosol in 2012 and in the first round to Steve Darcis last year.
“When you go on court and you lost last year in the first round and the year before in the second round… it stays in your mind,” admitted the Spaniard.
This time, he would draw on confidence from his title win at Roland Garros - a record ninth championship - to claim victory over Klizan in four sets.
“I was able to fight. I was able to try to find some solutions, some changes during the match," said Nadal.
“I try my best in every moment. If I lose the first set, I try to win the second. If I win the second, I try to win the third and then the fourth."
The 14-time Grand Slam champion added: “Today [Klizan] was able to play aggressively. The court is a little bit more slippery. In the beginning of the tournament, it's more difficult to move on the court.”
As the Mallorca native continues through the fortnight, he hopes to make his technical game second-nature on The Championships’ lawns.
“When I am playing on clay, I don't have to think a lot about what I have to do when I am [on the court] because all the things [in my game] come together. I just think about how I want to play that match," explained the 28 year old.
"[On grass] you need to adjust your movement. You need to adjust your rhythm. You need to find the right feeling on the speed of the ball. You need to find the confidence on some shots. The only way to make those things come automatically is by playing matches," said Nadal.
“After a few matches you are able to win and play with the right tactics.”