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Why Nadal is at a disadvantage playing on hardcourts indoors – Eye of the Coach #32

In the latest expert observations from Patrick Mouratoglou, the coach points out that court conditions at the ATP Finals might not be suited to the 13-time French Open champion.

November 13, 2020
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Patrick Mouratoglou thinks Rafael Nadal might have a tough time at the ATP Finals.

That’s because the Spaniard’s game is not best suited to the conditions indoors.

“What makes him so different and so difficult to beat on other surfaces, he doesn’t have that advantage indoors on hard courts because the bounce is low,” explained the coach in the latest Eye of the Coach.

“It’s even much lower than on hardcourts outdoors.”

“There is a reason why on hardcourts indoors, the bounce is lower than on hardcourts outdoors. The surface is named hardcourts in both cases, but it’s not the same surface at all.”

Lower bounce in indoor

Mouratoglou described the materials that create the court for an indoor event: “It’s usually a place where you do concerts, and some other sports, and tennis.

“In general, the surface is wood, and over the wood, they put a kind of carpet, which is also a synthetic resin. There is a space between the two. And because there is space, the bounce is much lower.”

Nitto ATP FINALS 2011

The Frenchman says that low bounce doesn’t suit Nadal’s game – from the quality of his topspin to the height he gets on the ball.

That isn’t to say that the 13-time Roland-Garros champion is bad at playing indoors; indeed, Mouratoglou was quick to add: “He is a very good competitor now indoor on hard.”

But he concluded: “There are guys who are still better than him on that surface.”

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