‘Rafael Nadal gets the rhythm he needs for…’, says former ace

Like many other times, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams are among the biggest stars of the upcoming US Open. While Rafa will have more opportunities to compete on the more notable stage in the years to come, it is the last show for Serena, who will be bowing out in front of her audience.

Nadal praised Williams, calling her a legend and saying it’s a shame he’s leaving the sport after giving her so much over the past 25 years. The veteran will enter her 21st and last US Open, deciding to withdraw from her beloved tournament, where she debuted in 1998 at the age of 16.

Williams has only played nine events since the start of 2021, reaching two semi-finals in Melbourne last year and failing to repeat. Serena suffered an injury at Wimbledon last year and was away from the courts for almost a year.

The American surprised everyone when she signed on to play the doubles at Eastbourne this June before facing another campaign at Wimbledon. Serena suffered a tough 7-5 1-6 7-6 loss to Harmony Tan in the first round at the All England Club.

Williams came into Toronto and faced Nuria Parrizas Diaz in the first match. The American prevailed 6-3 6-4 in one hour and 57 minutes for her first win in 430 days. Serena got three breaks and defended seven of her eight break chances to come out on top.

Williams faced Belinda Bencic in the second round and suffered a 6-2 6-4 loss.

Latest update on Rafa Nadal

Former ATP Tour professional Alex Corretja believes that Rafael Nadal can find championship-winning form at Flushing Meadows next week.

“Rafa needs this kind of training before a Grand Slam, in order to be ready to play well, since he showed and he proved himself and everybody else that with little practice, and with little matches, he gets the rhythm he needs for the Grand Slams,” Corretja said in a Eurosport discussion.

“I don’t think we should be concerned, of course, it would have been great for him to play maybe three matches before the US Open. And that would have been enough. But he could get that at the beginning of the tournament with some of the matches that he will play.

Last week he lost to Coric but it was okay; when you finish the tournament and you see that the guy that you lost to, wins the tournament. I think probably one of the most difficult seasons of his career, from where he came from and for the things he had in the beginning and in the middle of the season as well.

Coming from Indian Wells, he also felt that danger and then he missed some of the clay court tournaments. Then when he comes back he’s got the foot problem and then he goes to Roland-Garros and then all of a sudden he won, so I’m so impressed again with what Rafa is doing.

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