Rafael Nadal ball toss

‘I have been serving much better for days,’ says Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal says ‘recovering’ his serve motion following his pre-Australian Open back injury is the reason behind his improved form.

Nadal started the year slowly, sitting out the whole of the ATP Cup injured and then crashing out of the Australian Open in the last eight.

Much of that was down to a back injury he sustained ahead of the ATP Cup, though, and it required him to tinker with his serving action to allow him to play through the problem.

When he returned to the ATP Tour he was defeated by Andrey Rublev in Monte-Carlo, and he looked like he was struggling for rhythm again.

However, last week he won the Barcelona Open, and he made a strong start to his Madrid Masters campaign on Wednesday as he easily beat Carlos Alcaraz.

“I have been serving much better for days,” Rafael Nadal explained after booking his sport in round three.

“I have worked on it and we have studied things. I have felt comfortable with the service again since I arrived in Madrid.

“I have recovered some things with the work we have done. I needed to study the motion calmly and winning in Barcelona has helped me in this regard.”

Nadal will face Alexei Popyrin in round three after he stunned Jannik Sinner on Wednesday.

Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.