Nadal may stop to fix poor form

GLUM FACED: Nadal went out in straight sets to Troicki in his first match at the Shanghai Masters on Wednesday.


    Oct 14, 2016

    Nadal may stop to fix poor form


    RAFAEL Nadal said he may call an early halt to his season and hit the practice courts instead as he bids to halt a slide in his form and results in time for next season.

    The 30-year-old, a 14-time Grand Slam champion, bore a worried look after he was soundly beaten 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) by Viktor Troicki in his first match at the Shanghai Masters.

    It extended a difficult run for the Spanish left-hander who has not reached a final since he won his second title of the year in Barcelona in April.

    "I don't know what's going to happen in the next couple of weeks. It's something that I need to think about," said the world No. 5 on Wednesday.

    The last events of the season include the Swiss Indoors, the Paris Masters and the ATP World Tour Finals in London.

    But Nadal said more tournaments may not be what he needs.

    "Sometimes, keeping (on) competing is not the solution.

    "Sometimes, the solution is to practise and stop and have a process of training.

    "And maybe that's an opportunity to do it," he said.

    Nadal's first-ever defeat to Troicki, ranked 31st, came less than a week after his dispiriting straight-sets loss to Grigor Dimitrov in the China Open quarter-finals.

    Signs are growing of a steady decline for the one-time clay court king, who won his first Slam title aged 17.

    But he has not added to his tally of majors since the 2014 French Open.

    Nadal said he badly needed to work on his once-formidable forehand, and the speed of movement which made him a brick wall for so many opponents.

    "Every time that I hit the forehand, I need to create pain for the opponent, something that is not happening today," he said.

    "Maybe because I had an injury on the wrist and I am scared. Maybe because I still have some limitation in there.

    "But, at the end of the day, nobody cares about that and I don't care about that."