Rafael Nadal: ‘Balls responsible for varying Australian Open court speed, not the surface’

Rafael Nadal has offered an explanation to the mystery of the Australian Open court speed, suggesting it’s heavily influenced by the conditions.

Confusion has reigned at the Australian Open so far, with Novak Djokovic describing the court speed on Rod Laver Arena the fastest he has ever known at the tournament.

Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta backed up that view, but Stefanos Tsitsipas says he believes it is ‘one of the slowest speeds around.’

Nadal, though, believes they are both right, and the courts are playing drastically different, but it is the balls, not the court, that is behind the variation.

“We had some drastic changes,” Nadal told Eurosport. “Last year, I remember it was quite slow and this year, it depends.

“When the conditions are humid, the ball became more heavier and when the conditions are dry, the ball stays small and is quick.”

“It’s all about trying to adapt to the conditions in every moment,”

“And the player who is able to find the solution for every change will have better chances.”

Nadal, who is struggling with a persistent back injury, will face British number two Cameron Norrie in the third round of the competition.

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