Beaten Nadal eyeing hard work

17 April 2021 21:24:44 GMTPlus10

Rafael Nadal admits he will have to put plenty of hard work in on the practice courts after calling his serve a "disaster" in the shock Monte Carlo Masters quarter-final defeat at the hands of Andrey Rublev.

Nadal, an 11-time previous winner of the tournament and so often a dominant force on clay, was way below the standards usually associated with the Spanish superstar.

The only thing that I can do is go to Barcelona and keep practising.

Rafael Nadal

The king of clay was broken seven times and served the same amount of double faults which then put pressure on his serve to an extent he won fewer than half of the points on his second serve in the 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 defeat at the hands of sixth seed Rublev.

Nadal won't have long to prepare for the next tournament as he is supposed to be lining up at next week's Barcelona Open before a busy May which is expected to take in the Madrid Open and Italian Open in Rome in preparation for his latest crack at the French Open.

Thirteen times Nadal has lifted the French Open title and he will head to Paris this year aiming for five in a row, however, there is no doubt the 34-year-old will have to improve considerably on the Rublev defeat.

Nadal told the ATP Tour website: "The only thing that I can do is go to Barcelona and keep practising, try to fix the things that didn't work well.

"For some reason I had problems with my serve. I don't understand why, because I was not having problems in the practices at all, but my serve was a disaster.

"Serving like this creates an impact on the rest of the game.

Nadal is 1.83 to win French Open, with Novak Djokovic at 4.33, while Rublev is available at 19.00.

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