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Rafael Nadal considers golfing to be a valuable and enjoyable way to facilitate the transition between clay-court and grass-court seasons.

Why Golf Helped Rafa's Wimbledon Preparation

Spaniard credits time on the links for relaxed outlook

Rafael Nadal’s timing and athleticism have brought him 14 Grand Slams, including the 2008 Wimbledon title. However, his sporting prowess is not limited to the tennis court, as evidenced on Saturday when he was asked about his preparation in the weeks leading up to 2015’s third major.

“I played golf,” revealed Nadal, who swings a club right-handed like his two-handed backhand and owns a 2.7 handicap. “[After Roland Garros] I went back home, played golf and spent some good times with family and friends. This time off was very important for me and I needed it.”

Of course, the short game was not the only thing Nadal addressed in his Wimbledon preparation. The hard-working lefty took advantage of the expanded grass-court season by playing the MercedesCup and at the AEGON Championships, winning the former. He looked favorably upon the new schedule, as it afforded him and fellow ATP touring pros more time to make the adjustment from the slowest to the fastest surface in tennis.

“There are definitely fewer chances for injury now,” said Nadal. “In years prior you had to make the transition from Roland Garros to Queen’s in one day, and there’s a chance for injury since a lot of the things in the game are different. The way you move, the way you hit the ball. There’s less danger on the body when you can make the transition a little bit slower.”

Nadal also discussed his psychological approach to the game on different surfaces.

“When I am playing my best on clay, I have the feeling that I have time for every shot, and that I can play any tactic I want, whether aggressive or more defensive,” opined Nadal. “It makes me feel under control at all times.

“On grass, it’s a different story,” he added. “You have to be focused on every point. If you make two or three mistakes in a row on your serve, you’ve almost lost the set. That’s the big difference. But you can also have good chances to go to net and do different things. We don’t get to play that way often on the tour so I try to have fun with that.”

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