Nadal: 'My serve was very bad'

MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:27 AM ET

Rafael Nadal leaves Toronto knowing he has some work to do.

The No. 1-ranked player in the world was upset yesterday by No. 4 Andy Murray and as much as the loss had to sting, it was his inability to get anything going with his serve that really seemed to stick in Nadal’s craw.

“My serve didn’t work well,” Nadal said. “My serve was the worst thing in my game, I think, today for sure, and to beat Andy, I had to serve much better than what I did today. My serve was very bad today.”

Nadal knows he needs a serve that keeps opponents on their heels, not just against Murray but any of the top players. With the U.S. Open just a few weeks away, the one Grand Slam he has never won or even reached a final, Nadal predicted some extra work over the next couple of weeks.

Coming off a three-week layoff, Nadal purposely avoided too much practice on the serve because it was that route at this time last year in Montreal that wound up injuring him.

“I have to go slowly,” said a wiser Nadal. “Last year I started in Montreal after (some time off), similar what I had this year, and I started hard with the serve and I (tore) my abdominal.

“So I prefer to (not) practise too much the serve during the week, because I feel this part of the body, the abdominals, are a little bit more challenged than usual (following inactivity), and the most important thing is be healthy physically, no?”

The good news, as far as Nadal is concerned, is he leaves the Rogers Cup healthy, something he couldn’t say last year and something that wound up costing him when he got to the U.S. Open still dealing with the abdominal tear.

“I am (in) perfect condition physically, so the serve, I’m going to have now Monday and Tuesday to keep practising hard with the serve and a little bit more with the backhand.”

Nadal will play in Cincinnati next weekend and then have a week off before taking anoth another run at the U.S. Open.


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