Carlos Moyá: “Nadal was reluctant to change his game”

Consistency has been one of the main virtues of Rafael Nadal throughout his sports career. A permanent evolution in his style of play that has led him to conquer a whopping 19 Grand Slams, standing only one of the absolute record held by Roger Federer (absent the remainder of the course for his knee). And without a doubt, one of the facets that has improved the most in Manacor has been the serve, turning a small deficiency into a lethal weapon that has allowed it to dose in recent years to conquer two US Open of the last three editions.

Evolution did not happen by chance, nor is it understood without the figure of Carlos Moyá. Former world number 1 and friend of Rafa himself took the reins of his training in 2017 to replace his uncle, Toni Nadal, and although the changes soon paid off, the start was not easy. “My favorite exercise with Rafa was to play against two. He was humble enough to realize his weakness or what he could improve on. And that is the key. We had been telling him for a year that his service had to be better, but he was reluctant to change anything, “ Moyá confessed in an interview with the presenter Annabel Croft.

But as the Balearic recounted, Nadal quickly understood that he had to assume the changes in the serve to improve: “Then it was he who said: 'Okay.' Right after that moment, we intervened. Being aggressive is not about hitting hard, it is also about positioning yourself on the court. Being aggressive is more about keeping in mind that you can take a step closer to the bottom line. He was very eager to change his service after a year when I was with him. “

Finally, Moyá confessed that the last problems that Rafa had in the knee motivated that need to change his style of play: “He hurt his knee and realized it was time to try. We saw how he couldn't find a way to keep the same movement. He changed it every 2-3 months and realized that he needed to modify his service to be a better player. I think it was worth it. His ball speed is very high and we can change the direction from side to side. We do the 'play against two' exercises every day. With me and a sparring partner. “Based on the results, Moyá's advice and Nadal's wise interpretation turned out to be a most successful union that still has a long way to go …