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Wimbledon including debenture holders, debenture ticket holders, hospitality and hospitality package lovers has always respected his talents
Steve Carter | SteveCarter

Have we seen the best of two time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal?

Dec 10th 2015 at 9:23 AM

Nadal himself says speculation about his demise is greatly exaggerated.

His recent woes have focussed around injury, illness and technique, but he says he currently feels much fitter than he has for some time.

His brittle knees continue to be an issue and probably always will be for the rest of his career – it is a matter of managing them.

The 29-year-old has had a load of bad luck recently – breaking his wrist and then going down with appendicitis.

“I had a lot of problems during the whole second part of the season last year,” he admitted recently. “It was so tough.

“In general, I feel that is past. I've felt that I am playing better and better, I feel that I am enjoying it again, the fact that I am playing my style and I am able to play a little bit more aggressive game because I am in control of my emotions.

”Being injury-free is so important for me because that makes me recover the confidence in my body, the confidence in my movements. I am able to practise as much as I can, as much as I want now and that is very important.”

Nadal has climbed back to number five in the world rankings, but he has failed to win a grand slam this year to add to his tally of 14 for the first time since 2004 and is viewed by some as a declining force in the game.

Pat Cash, the 1987 Wimbledon champion, has suggested Nadal’s recent struggles are due more to technical flaws in his “complex” swing.

He said Nadal’s woes were one of the most hotly debated topics among fellow players.

“Rafa’s biggest issue is that there are so many movements that are going on in his ground strokes.”

Given such factors, Cash said he doubted whether Nadal could win multiple grand slams next year as he did in his pomp, and reckons he is entering the twilight of his career.

The Australian said: “He could well win one and be right up there with the others. He’s going to have build on the confidence that he’s getting at the moment.

“I don’t think it’s make or break for him, but he’s getting to the end of his career and he’s put his body through absolutely everything.”

Saying others saw Nadal’s issues more as a lack of confidence, he noted: “I see it as a technical issue. With a complex swing, if it’s slightly off, he’s got to develop consistency. The easiest way to develop consistency is hitting a lot of balls.”

Nadal has ignored the successful route taken by rivals such as Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in hiring a past tennis master as coach and remains under the tutelage of his uncle Toni, his lifelong mentor.

Nadal is widely regarded as one of the finest clay-court players in history, and is considered by many in the sport to be the greatest clay-court player of all time. He is known as "The King of Clay".

But Wimbledon including debenture holders, debenture ticket holders, hospitality and hospitality package lovers has always respected his talents.

In addition to his 14 Grand Slam singles titles, Nadal won the 2008 Olympic gold medal in singles and was a member of the winning Spanish Davis Cup team in 2004, 2008, 2009, and 2011. In 2010, he became the seventh player in history and youngest of four in the Open Era to achieve the Career Grand Slam at the age of 24.

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