Barcelona- Another measure of Rafa’s bouncebackability.
Rafael Nadal is back, well thats what many commentators are saying. In winning the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters he has shown that he has arrested the decline and managed to steady the ship. He has taken many beatings and suffered unexpected losses this year but the Masters 1000 win is a measure of Rafas bounceback ability. This was the Spaniards 9th title on the clay of Monte Carlo, a phenomenal record in one event and has laid a strong foundation for the rest of the 2016 clay court season.
This week he plays in the closest event to home this week in Barcelona which will be another measure of how well he is playing and how ready Nadal is to make an assault on another Roland Garros title. Two time titleist Kei Nishikori is the biggest name in the draw and no doubt Rafa will have to overcome him at some stage to progress through to the finals. Rafa will face a tough task this week as he could face Kohlschreiber and Ferrer in the earlier rounds but with the Monte Carlo victory under his belt few would predict anything else than a Nadal victory in Barcelona.
Regardless of what happens this week it is too early to say whether or not Nadal on 2012 is back. There can be no doubt that Rafas physical powers will be on the wane but lately Rafa has bulked up his service and increased his ace count so that he can save his legs somewhat. Nadal will need to take the lead and attempt to win points at the net to preserve the energy in his legs. On the eve of his 30th birthday with 14 grand slams safely tucked away, 20 someething masters titles and the undisputed King of Clay title in his locker Nadal has little to prove. Us fans of Nadal who have been through a few more ups and downs recently would love to see him win another title much in the same as Federer fans want us to see him win just one more!