Rafael Nadal believes his new serve is ready for competitive action as he prepares for the Australian Open. The Spaniard has not played since being forced to retire from his US Open semi-final in September due to a knee injury but was hoping to get some action under his belt at the Brisbane International, only for a thigh issue to put pay to those ambitions.
It means he could go into his opening match in Melbourne against James Duckworth a touch undercooked but Nadal is convinced he is prepared.
The 32-year-old won the event in 2009, while he has also been a losing finalist on three other occasions.
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Despite having 17 Grand Slam titles to his name, the world number two says he is always looking to tweak his game and is confident those changes to his serve can prove a significant benefit. “There is always things to improve,” he said. “The serve was always a thing that I tried to improve, and I think I did. “Maybe it was the time to try to make one more step.
That’s what we are trying. I happy with it. I’m happy with the motivation to do something new. “I happy with the fact that, if I am able to make that happen in a good way, that hopefully will give me the chance to help me in my game longer term. I didn’t compete with this new serve, so let’s see how it works. I am confident it’s going to work well.”