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Nadal Criticizes ATP's 25 Second Rule in Brazil

Rafael Nadal spoke out on the new 25 second rule on the men's tour and more in a pre-event press conference at Sao Paulo, Brazil.

By Erik Gudris

Rafael Nadal (February 12th, 2013) -- Fresh off his return from a seven month absence at last week's Vina Del Mar event, Rafael Nadal spoke out about some recent changes in the sport during a pre-event press conference at this week's Brazil Open in Sao Paulo.

While Nadal is strategically coming back to action during the "Golden Swing" of clay court events held this month in Latin and South America, the Spanish superstar criticized the growing amount of tournaments played on hard courts. Nadal feels if the trend continues it will shorten careers due to the jarring impact the surface has on players and their bodies.

"Hard courts are the worst for knees and ankles," said Nadal. "But I don't think a change to more clay or grass will be possible in my generation. The ATP needs to be more careful in helping prolong player's careers."

Nadal also spoke out on the ATP's new 25-second rule between serves for a player that is an effort to help speed up the game. Though he has been often cited for taking too much time between points during his own career, Nadal feels the new rule will only shortchange fans.

"People want to see the long rallies and hard fought points. For me to play at a high level for a long time, I need more than 25 seconds. I know that many players in the locker room are not happy about the new rule. We would like to see the officials interpret the rule as needed and not be so mathematical."

Though he lost in the Vina Del Mar finals in a surprise upset to Horacio Zeballos, Nadal was pleased overall about his first full week back to action though he admitted to being somewhat tired heading into Brazil.

"I am motivated to play and that gives me energy. Physically it isn't that I am bad. It's just that the knee still hurts some days."

Nadal, who is returning to the Brazil Open after his only appearance there in 2005 when he also won the event, will compete in both singles and doubles. He will play his opening doubles match with David Nalbandian later this evening.

(Photo Credit: AP/Luis Hildalgo)


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