Staggering difference between Rafael Nadal's statistics between Alex de Minaur clashes in Barcelona and Madrid

Monday, 29 April 2024 at 03:30
Rafael Nadal took revenge on Alex De Minaur after defeating him in the second round of the Madrid Open by 7-6(6), 6-3, one week after being defeated at the Barcelona Open by the Australian (5-7, 1-6). The latest encounter left some key stats that explain Nadal's improvements to secure his best win since 2022.
Despite the efforts of the Spanish player, he has acknowledged that he did not come in great form to the clay swing. He first skipped the Monte-Carlo Masters and then exited in the second round of the ATP 500 Barcelona Open against world No. 11 De Minaur.

Encouraging Statistics for Nadal  

This week in Madrid, Nadal admitted that he still doesn't feel at his best, but managed to secure victories over 16-year-old Darwin Blanc (6-0, 6-1) and then over the Australian 10th seed by 7-6(6), 6-3.
The former world No. 1 shows improvements in his game despite not being at his physical peak. Nadal notably improved his service in Madrid compared to a week ago in Barcelona, showing better sensations and confidence on the court.
Against De Minaur in Barcelona, he had an average 1st serve speed of 102MPH, while in Madrid, it increased to 113MPH. The average 2nd serve speed also showed growth, going from 87 MPH in Barcelona to 95 MPH in Madrid. The service speed improvement enhanced its effectiveness with the first and second service; in Barcelona, he had 66% and 43%, while in Madrid, it improved to 74% and 63%, respectively.
Against De Minaur, Nadal secured his first victory over a top-15 player since the 2022 ATP Finals.
The Spanish player appeared much more comfortable in rallies. If in Barcelona he won 40% of the baseline battles, in Madrid, he achieved 61%. Nadal was also much more consistent with his returns; in Barcelona, he won 30% of defensive points, while in Madrid, it increased to 44%, giving De Minaur few free points.
Although playing on clay is not De Minaur's strength, and playing indoors, along with the stadium atmosphere, favored Nadal, the Spanish player showed evident improvements from one week to another. His next challenge will be in the third round against Argentine Pedro Cachín (No. 91), who surprised Frances Tiafoe (No. 21) with a 7-6(1), 3-6, 6-4 victory.

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