Rafael Nadal to play Davis Cup: 4 reasons why the Germany tie will help the King of Clay
Rafael Nadal has been named in the Spanish Davis Cup team that is scheduled to take on Germany in the quarterfinals in Valencia on April 6-8. Nadal, who opted out of Acapulco, Indian Wells and Miami Masters after suffering a leg injury in Melbourne, is expected to play his first Davis Cup match since September 2016.
The 16-time Major winner has been practising on his beloved surface - clay - at his own academy. He is also expected to return to the ATP tour for the Masters event in Monte Carlo.
Given that the tie against Germany will also be played on dirt, Nadal couldn’t have asked for a better way to warm-up for the European clay swing. This stretch has traditionally defined Nadal's entire season, and there's no reason why things will be different this year.
Along with the 31-year-old, David Ferrer, Pablo Carreno Busta, Roberto Bautista Agut and Feliciano Lopez have also been named in Spain's team. Nadal, who has an incredible 22-1 win-loss record in Davis Cup singles rubbers, will try to lead his country to a semis spot for the first time since 2012.
Here are 4 reasons why the Davis Cup tie is likely to be a great boon for the great Spaniard:
#1 Clay is easy on the body
Nadal’s domination on clay will probably remain unmatched till the end of time. The surface also allows the ‘King of clay’ to ease into his groove and be match ready, no matter what his previous physical condition may have been.
As compared to hard and grass courts, clay is far less demanding on Nadal’s body. Given the physicality that the Spaniard brings to the court, the slowness of clay aids greatly in his movement and ball-striking.
It is also important to remember that clay will give more time for Nadal to adapt and play himself into a contest. Instead of jumping directly into a Masters event, he will first get to re-acclimatize his body for the rigours of match play.