• Nadal makes successful start in Acapulco

    2/27/13 3:05 PM | Cheryl Murray
    Nadal makes successful start in Acapulco World No. 5 Rafael Nadal breezed through his opening round match in Mexico on Tuesday with a routine straight-set win over Diego Sebastian Schwartzman.

    It was a good, efficient start for the returning Spaniard, who is in just his third tournament since a knee injury sidelined him for 7 months. Rafael Nadal, former world No. 1, defeated Argentine qualifier Diego Sebastian Schwartzman 6-2, 6-2.

    The Spaniard Was never in any trouble in this match. Nadal seems to have instituted a new strategy that involves less running and shortening points against lower-ranked players. The result is a slightly less impressive scoreline than he might have had pre-injury, but surely better for his joints.

    The first set was all Nadal. The No. 2 seed didn't face any break points, while breaking Schwartzman twice.

    The Argentine actually secured a break of serve in the second set, but that didn't deter Nadal in the least. He snagged a trio of break points and closed out the match in an hour and eight minutes.

    Nadal will take on Martin Alund, the Argentine qualifier who stormed into the semifinals in Sao Paolo a couple of weeks ago.

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Vamos Rafa

nadline , 2/27/13 5:57 PM

didnt see the match, I am courious to know the new strategy.. sounds interesting.. can you give more details..thx

janadevchp , 2/27/13 7:49 PM

I noticed that strategy in Rafa's matches in the previous two tournaments. He was moving into the net to try to close out the points more quickly. I also noticed that he wasn't running after all the drop shots. He's not going to push himself to go after every single drop shot, especially if it's not necessary or not a crucial point.

I agree with Cheryl that this does result in a less impressive scoreline. He's not blowing these guys off the court 6-0, 6-1. They may win a few more games, but Rafa will end up prevailing. Now this strategy will work against lower ranked players, but not against more challenging opponents.

How Rafa plays when he meets higher ranked players will tell us more about this so- called new strategy.

Nativenewyorker , 2/27/13 7:59 PM

I agree with NNY, Rafa is shortening the points and not running after every ball. Whether this is only whilst his knee is healing I don't know, but I think it's far better than the long rallies waiting for the right moment to strike.

Djokovic and Muzz tend to play long rallies too so if Rafa could hone his skills on shortening the points, they'll be facing a different Rafa. Djokovic's game has changed in the last 2 years, he virtually just retrieves balls now and hardly ever attacks. Just my opinion.

nadline , 2/27/13 8:43 PM

nadal is shortening points because his knees are not good enough for doing lots of running. he is still an awesome shotmaker obviously.

croc , 2/27/13 9:10 PM

Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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