Nadal: Nothing unusual from Federer, but important to counter early aggressiveness

by: Matt Cronin January 25, 2014

AP Photo

Rafael Nadal says that Roger Federer did not use any unusual tactics against him in his straight-set victory over the Swiss in the 2014 Australian Open semifinals. Federer had said that his new coach, former Grand Slam champion Stefan Edberg, had given him some tactical advice about how to play Nadal, who had beaten him eight of the last 11 times entering the match. Edberg was a serve-and-volleyer during his time as player.

“I think he tried to play very aggressive, taking the ball very early,” Nadal said. “But if you go to YouTube and you see the video of [our] 2012 [Australian Open semifinal] you will see that he was playing very, very aggressive, too. Especially the beginning of the match. So is nothing completely new. I saw that video today, the morning. I see the way that he will try to play again.

“But important thing for me is serve well, resist the beginning. I know he will try to go on court going for the winners, taking the ball very early. So when the match is coming and the match is longer, then that's more difficult. Because physically is very difficult for me, for him, for everybody to play with that intensity of trying to play that aggressive during a few hours, no, because mentally and physically is very tough. So when the match is going on, I know that I will have the chance to hit a little bit more rallies. That's the position that I want to be. So is very important to resist the score at the beginning.”

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