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Paul Annacone states Rafael Nadal is not quite as good as Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer on hardcourts, that’s why the Spaniard struggles to win the Australian Open. Nadal won just one Grand Slam in Australia, while Djokovic has won eight and Federer six.
Annacone says that is not reflective of Nadal being poor on hardcourts, but his rivals simply being that little bit better.
“I think very simply, Rafa is just a little bit worse on hardcourt than Novak in particular and Roger as well on a faster hardcourt,” he told the Tennis Channel. “But everyone else I’d put him ahead of. If he plays Novak at the end of the tournament, I’m not betting on him. But if he plays anyone else, I’ll bet on him.
“I think the biggest thing for Rafael Nadal is to get through the first week relatively comfortably.”
Indeed, Nadal has won four titles on the US Open hardcourt despite his relative struggles on the same surface in Australia.
“This is one of those questions right, that why hasn’t he won more there? Four US Open, it’s hardcourt down in Australia as well. So when he starts the year in Australia, he’s coming off a long break, he gets a couple of matches, maybe the ATP Cup, here and there But by the time US Open comes around, he’s got a little bit of break after Wimbledon. He’s played three Majors already, so that works well for him.”