The clay season is becoming more and more interesting. The spectacular performances of the Spaniard Rafael Nadal have certainly contributed a lot in this regard. The Iberian star managed to impose himself 6-4 7-5 at the Barcelona tournament as well (it’s his 9th title won at this tournament) after an extremely spectacular final againstKei Nishikori (ATP No.6).

After an uncertain beginning of the season, Rafael Nadal went wild on the European clay. Taking advantage of the weak performances of his opponents (Djokovic, Federer, Murray, and Wawrinka), Nadal added 2 titles to his record in the past two weeks.

And the clay season continues. He is to compete in two extremely important tournaments in Rome and Madridand then comes the grand challenge of the Roland Garros.

Nadal confirms a special relation

With his Barcelona victory, “The King of Clay” managed to break some more barriers and also to strengthen the relation he seems to have with number 9. For the Spaniard, this figure represents the number of trophies won at the Roland Garros, Monte Carlo, and now in Barcelona as well. Another historical barrier was also broken with the victory in Barcelona, namely the record he holds when it comes to clay tournaments. Nadal reached the milestone of 49 clay titles, thus succeeding in matching the record of the illustrious Guillermo Vilas.

But there’s even more great news for the Spaniard. With the points he earned after his last triumph, he climbs all the way to the 2nd position in this year’s ATP ranking (at the end of the season the first 8 players are to participate in the ATP Finals in London).

Nadal’s progress is obvious

The Iberian has improved his game on clay.

In the first part of the season he participated in several clay tournaments in South America, but back then his game was rather uncertain and inconsistent, with many unforced errors that eroded his self-confidence. Once the geographical area changed, his approach seemed to be totally different. There are a lot of visible similarities to the Nadal who used to dominate the Tennis circuit a few years ago.

The breakdowns are rapidly reversed through winning strikes. Nadal seems to be applying the small step strategy, each point having its own history, different from the general trend of the match. This is surely a great advantage to his self-confidence.

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