Rafael Nadal gained 150 positions on the ATP rating checklist in 2003, turning himself from an adolescent to look at right into a contender for the ATP titles inside seven months. Ranging from simply exterior the top-200, Nadal had proved he’s too good for the Challenger stage within the opening three months, profitable one title from 4 finals and making ready for notable runs in Monte Carlo and Hamburg, nonetheless at 16!
Rafa skipped Roland Garros and each pre-Wimbledon occasion because of an harm and returned to the motion on the All England Membership, the place he reached the third spherical on a debut! The Spaniard returned to clay and superior into his first ATP semi-finalist in Umag earlier than turning into the champion in Segovia Challenger.
After one other break because of an harm, Nadal received a match on the US Open and shut down engines in the remainder of the yr, scoring solely two triumphs after Segovia however nonetheless ending within the top-50. On the Madrid Masters debut, Rafa misplaced within the first spherical to a compatriot Alex Corretja.
The extra skilled Spaniard had a horrible season, dropping out from the top-100 for the primary time in 11 years however nonetheless doing sufficient to topple Rafa 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 in two hours and 7 minutes. Corretja received 4 factors greater than an adolescent, delivering six breaks and leaving the second set behind to prevail within the decider and attain the second spherical.
Nadal was sad together with his recreation regardless of an excellent yr, saying he was but to seek out the shape after an harm and didn’t like his defensive model with no aggression.
Rafael Nadal suffered an early loss on the Madrid Masters in 2003.
“I’ve not performed nicely.
Despite the fact that I have been coaching exhausting over the last weeks, one thing was lacking within the matches. I have no idea if it is bodily or possibly psychological management, however I am not taking part in in addition to I used to. However that occurs; what we have now to do is to maintain working exhausting.
Final week, my recreation was too defensive in opposition to Hrbarty in Lyon; I’ve modified that right here in Madrid and performed extra aggressively. That is one of many key components I’ve to enhance. Certainly, I am not as aggressive as I used to be at the start of the season, and I have no idea why.
Possibly it is only a unhealthy interval, or I am not assured sufficient. I’ve to work and proceed as rapidly as potential. My serve was not that unhealthy at this time, and I used to be happy with the way it labored on the observe court docket, and I often don’t strive aggressive serves exterior matches.
The preliminary shot will get higher with years; the primary drawback is the lacking aspect of aggression in my recreation. Corretja had a nasty yr, however he beat me at this time as I lacked confidence when it mattered essentially the most. I wish to congratulate my rival,” Rafael Nadal stated.