Paul Annacone To Rafael Nadal: It’s Tiring To Talk To People Who Think Rafael Is One-Dimensional And Can Only Be Dominant On Clay

Paul Annacone has discussed Rafael Nadal's superb start to the 2022 season
Paul Annacone has discussed Rafael Nadal's superb start to the 2022 season

Renowned coach and analyst Paul Annacone has praised Rafael Nadal’s ability on all surfaces and described his start to the year as a “great story.” Annacone also analyzed why the conditions at the Indian Wells Masters are an excellent fit for the World No. 4’s game.

The former World No. 12 – who coaches ATP star Taylor Fritz – also discussed the incredible start the 21-time Grand Slam champion has made to the season. He also touched on how Nadal is a versatile player who can “play on everything” and not only on clay.

“And most importantly, he is so confident,” Annacone said. “Looking at those numbers: 25 times a titlist on hardcourts. It gets tiring to talk to people because they say – ‘he is one-dimensional, he was just so dominant on the clay.’ This guy can play on everything. And to see him at 35 years of age, this confident, starting a year 15-0 – I just think it’s a great story.”

Rafael Nadal completed a double career Slam with his triumph at the Australian Open and he has six Major titles on hardcourt and two on grass. The Spaniard holds an unbeaten 15-0 record in 2022 so far – winning all three tournaments he has played.

He won the Melbourne Summer Set ATP 250 event and the Australian Open in January, before claiming the Mexican Open ATP 500 title in Acapulco last month.

Nadal is currently the No. 4 seed at the Masters 1000 tournament in Indian Wells, where the men’s singles event is set to begin on Thursday.

Speaking on Tennis Channel, Annacone assessed why Nadal is well suited to the playing conditions in the Californian desert.

“I think the conditions are great for Rafa here,” Annacone said. “It’s a gritty court. The ball grabs the court, goes through the court a little bit slower once it hits the court, but faster through the air. Which means spin is going to be exacerbated, which means that’s problems for the other guys on the other side of the net because the ball is going to grab and jump. And we know how well he moves.”

Rafael Nadal is a three-time Indian Wells champion

Rafael Nadal at the 2019 Indian Wells Master
Rafael Nadal at the 2019 Indian Wells Master

Rafael Nadal has won the Indian Wells Masters three times previously – in 2007, 2009 and 2013. The 35-year-old has landed on the same side of the men’s singles draw as World No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas and World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev at this year’s event. He could face either the Greek or the Russian in the semifinals.

The World No. 4 last played Indian Wells in 2019, when he was forced to withdraw ahead of a semifinal clash with rival Roger Federer because of injury.

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