Rafael Nadal’s coach Francis Roig has revealed that an improved backhand was the reason why Roger Federer was able to dominate against the Spaniard in the recently-concluded 2019 Wimbledon.
Speaking to Spanish publication Onda Cero, Roig said: “Rafa [Rafael Nadal] could not deliver his game, he could not dominate, he could not play as he did in the past days.”
“He did not feel comfortable, so you have some regrets. He had some chances to go 5-all in the fourth set. I spoke with him in the locker room, we hoped to play better,” he added, before saying:
“We faced the best grass-court player ever. We have to accept it and continue.”
Roig further went on to highlight how Federer’s improved backhand was the turning point in the semi-final match-up against Nadal.
“Federer played one of his best matches ever on grass and we were not surprised by it because he improved his backhand. You could put pressure on him and he [Nadal] did not – which makes things difficult on grass because Federer takes charge then. He was also hitting a good return and the second serve return is important.” he explained.
“It’s a sad day but throughout the tournament, Federer defeated good players and he played his best tennis ever on grass.”
“At the end of the day, Nadal has played one Grand Slam finals and won one this year. Both Rafa and Federer push each other and we will see how many Majors they will have once they reach the end of their careers,” Roig concluded.
Quotes via Tennis World USA.