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Nostalgic Nadal yearns for time when players had to do more than just attack

The Spaniard said today’s tennis players now attack on every ball, not that he has failed to adapt, of course

Rafael Nadal press 2022 Zuma / Panoramic

Considering that he has won 22 Grand Slam titles in his career with the help of a brute of a left arm (and a right one, for that matter), it seems funny, at first, to hear Rafael Nadal talking about the nuances of the game.

But the Spaniard has always been about much more than power. Give him a well-worked point, in which he has to use his brain, over a slapped winner any day of the week.

“I would like a tennis that offers more opportunities, with more diverse styles of play,” Nadal told a press conference, as reported by, before he was due to face Casper Ruud in an exhibition in Buenos Aires.

“Today the majority play in a very similar way, the conditions in which they play give little room for other tactics, beyond what happens on clay, which gives more opportunities.

“For me, sport is also about thinking to achieve the goal. In the past, not all balls were attacked. And today there are no transition balls or point preparation. Luckily I’ve done well, but nostalgically speaking I like another sport”.

At 36, Nadal knows he is heading into the final phase of his career; how long his mind and body holds out is something he does not know. But the Spaniard said he will keep going as long as possible.

“I’m happy,” he said. “At this stage of my career, being where I am is a gift, always with passion for what I do and with maximum intensity. I don’t have 10 years ahead of me but I will try to do my best as long as I can.”

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