*Note* – sorry we pulled the trigger on this post before it was edited properly! It’s all better now. Thanks.
Here are some action shots from today’s entertaining quarterfinal between Rafael Nadal and Philipp Kohlschreiber at the Rogers Cup. Rafa lost the first set to the aggressive German one-hander, but eventually righted the ship and won the match: 3-6. 6-3. 6-4.
Kohlschreiber was impressed with his own play, saying “If I were to play everyday like this then I would say that I’d improve my ranking. I would actually that’s the goal that I would try to keep the level today.” He’s not so impressed at being the No. 1 German in the world: “For me it’s really nothing special,” the world No. 37 admitted, stressing that he was more focused on making it into the Top 20 for the first time in his career.
But in the end it was Rafael Nadal who really impressed him. (The players are giving Rafa plenty of love in the press room these days.) Kohly talked at length about Rafa’s game and the improvements he’s seen from the Spaniard on hardcourts.
“He (Nadal) improved so much. He improved the serve. He improved the return – that he’s changing, coming closer to the baseline and makes more pressure. I think that’s also the reason why he’s improved now to number one. . .because maybe sometimes you can read his game a little bit better than others, but now he’s changing much, much more. The serve is much better. Like you saw – his physical and mentally he’s always very strong.”
Don’t let that 0-7 head-to-head fool you. Kohlshreiber actually likes playing Rafa, : “It was always great to play against him. I like it actually. Unfortunately it’s not enough. I have to keep improving play better and get the next chance, maybe.”
Kohlschreiber on how Rafa’s changed:
“He was more predictable. He was serving higher percentage to the backhand side of the opponent. Now he’s mixing it up much better. He’s serving more to the body more to the forehand. Like I said, I thought before he was always returning far behind the baseline to always get the time to make the right tactic for the next stroke. Now he’s changing a little bit – sometimes he’s going back, sometimes he’s stepping in. I think he’s a little bit more aggressive. Now he’s looking for dominating the point. He improved the net game and slice. So he’s made a big jump on all these very very small weaknesses that he maybe had before. We’re talking about a really good player. He’s just improving there and that’s why he’s so strong now on every surface.”
Here’s Rafa on his current hot streak. Or should I say, sticky streak?:
Nadal: Well, sure is one of the best moments of my career. is a stupid — don’t say that, because that’s true winning three Masters 1000, winning Roland Garros, and Wimbledon, I’m now in semifinals here. That’s true, no? But I want to be with Super Glue, because, you know, four months ago I was — I never gonna — everybody says Rafa, I don’t know, never gonna be another time on the top, and now I am the best.
Rafael Nadal plays Andy Murray in the semis of the Rogers Cup tomorrow.