Author: Christian

The US Open is a different world than the US Open

The US Open is a different world than the US Open

Rafael Nadal overcomes Fabio Fognini in four sets in US Open second round match

When Rafael Nadal was announced as the favourite to win a third US Open title in 2016, there was a lot of talk about how he would have to improve his serve to challenge Federer on clay.

The question was met with much more cynicism. Nadal had defeated his nemesis in three of the last four major championships in a Grand Slam final on clay. With all the talk about the Federer effect, it was inevitable that his game would need some serious evolution on these surfaces.

Since winning his first title in 2009, Nadal has improved considerably on the surface from where he has won two of his majors. Federer has won all 13 titles since 2014 in a similar position. Federer, in fact, has had four more slam titles than Nadal on hardcourts since 2010.

Federer has won nine finals on grass and seven on four-court clay. His career total on these surfaces is 18.

Nadal has won six Grand Slam titles on hardcourts, four on grass and one on clay. His career total on hardcourts is 12, while on grass seven and on four-court clay one.

Federer, who was a world number one in June 2009, has won more majors on grass than on clay, while it will take Nadal until 2017 to win his second at the All England Club.

All in all, the conditions that will be played by Nadal and Federer at the US Open are not similar. Nadal’s new serve on hardcourts requires some work, whereas the surface on which the Swiss has just made his last four finals on grass was a different beast altogether.

The surface is part clay, part clay and part grass. This is not a difficult challenge for Nadal, so while the rest of the world will still be watching him beat Federer in a Wimbledon final on the same soil, he will not be going through another major drought.

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