Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Rafa right on hard-court bias

Rafa right on hard-court bias

Tennis legend Rafael Nadal, always a favourite with the punters in the tennis betting offers, has spoken out this week against the high number of hard court tournaments that dominate the tour each year, suggesting he may focus on clay court titles next season to aid his body’s recovery from injury.

Nadal, sidelined with injury since Wimbledon this summer, spoke to the Daily Mail to outline his disappointment that the hard surfaces that characterise the majority of the ATP tour could be affecting his fitness.

“I can’t pretend not to play on hard courts when two of the Slams are on hard courts, but there is a mistake with our game,” Nadal revealed. “Hard courts are very negative for the body. I know the sport is a business and creating these courts is easier than clay or grass, but I am 100 percent sure it is wrong.

“I may have to play more on clay than before, but there aren’t that many options.”

Nadal’s situation is clear when you examine his injury record. Chronic tendinitis has blighted the 11-time Grand Slam champion and this summer he suffered a partial tear to his patella tendon. He dropped out of the 2009 Wimbledon Championship with his knee problems and recently didn’t play a part in the US Open this summer.

The strains that Nadal puts on his body means his hard-court performances often create muscle injuries and the Spaniard is finding it increasingly difficult to overcome opponents on that surface. Instead of continuing on hard courts after the Australian Open next January, Nadal has suggested he will quickly revert to clay and save his body for Roland Garros and Wimbledon.

This ‘selecting’ of tour tournaments is exactly what the Williams sisters have done for years and is the reason they are still so dominant in the women’s game. If Nadal wants to win more Grand Slams he will need to streamline his minor tour outings and focussing on clay and grass may well be the way to go. If Nadal does miss out on a few tour outings, expect a surge of activity among those who bet on Andy Murray!