Rafael Nadal struggles on grass because of this - coach Francis Roig
RAFAEL NADAL’s weakest surface is grass because of his of how important movement is, says coach Francis Roig.
Only two of Nadal’s 17 Grand Slam titles have come at Wimbledon but he came close to challenging for the honour this year before an epic semi-final defeat to eventual winner Novak Djokovic.
The two tennis greats went head-to-head for over five hours and it took 18 games of the fifth set for them to finally be separated.
Nadal is usually so dominant on clay and has won the French Open on 11 separate occasions.
But he finds it more difficult on grass because of how much you have to move and the impact that has on the knees - which has been a recurring place of injury for the world No 1 over the years.
The Spaniard has not won a grass Grand Slam title in eight years (Image: GETTY)
“It's basic that knees need to be doing well and you had several years when he was doing so bad,” Roig told Spanish outlet El Espanol.
“On grass the ball weights more and you have to use the legs well.
“This (is) very important. And like everyone, Rafa depends on feelings.
“At the end he is human, and when he has knee pain you think that it can go bad.
“It lets focus go away, which on grass is really important to fight for everything.”
Nadal was knocked out of Wimbledon by Novak Djokovic (Image: GETTY)
Meanwhile, Nadal admitted during Wimbledon that his struggles on the soil are down to issues with his knees.
“With bad knees you can't compete on grass,” he said.
“Despite you try it's impossible because you need stable on the most unstable surface out of all.
“If I am not stable, I can't play at a high level. Here you need to find a lot of strength from that part of the body and when the knee isn't 100 per cent, or at least not at a high percentage that does not feel too influenced, it's impossible to compete well.”