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Second Serve - A Tennis Now Blog

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Slowly but surely, Rafael Nadal is starting to look like the king of clay that we all know and love this spring. Want proof? Look no further than this exquisite touch lob that Rafa lofts over the head of Roberto Bautista Agut.

Not only is Nadal dialing in the forehand this week in Madrid, he's also moving better, anticipating earlier and demonstrating soft hands and perfect decision making.

In addition, Nadal seems a little bit looser on court, and he talked about the importance of getting a few wins under his belt with reporters on Saturday.

"As you keep on winning, you have more confidence and play more calmly," Nadal said. "That allows you to go the match with some calm that allows you to do your match, to do your game. It allows you to do what you're thinking to do. "In the end, important thing is the nerves ‑‑ the important is not the nerves. As I always saying, the nerves are good for you. The bad things is when the nerves don't allow you to do what you want to do on the court."

Nadal will bid for his 27th career Masters 1000 title on Sunday when he meets Kei Nishikori in the Madrid final.