World No. 1 Rafael Nadal is fighting against a repeated case of 'wardrobe malfunctions' which has forced him to change his serving routine in the ongoing Monte Carlo Masters.
According to a Reuters' report, the Spaniard asks for a fresh tennis ball each time his first serve fails. This is because the second has been regularly popping out of his pockets. "The ball comes out of the bottom of them and gets in the way," he was quoted as saying. "We'll try to sort it out for the next tournaments but here it won't be possible."
Although it may appear to be a minor adjustment, Nadal has said that the change is a slight distraction which is making on-court prospects tougher. "When you have been doing something the same way for so many years, when there is a change you have to think about it and it makes things a bit more difficult," he said.
The standard practice in men's tennis is to serve with one and keep the other ball in the pocket - to be used either if the first serve fails or in the next serve. Several players - men as well as women however, prefer to serve with just one and ask for a second at the start of every fresh serve. Nadal now will have to follow the same practice, at least for now. "It's better to do it that way than have the ball popping out of the bottom of your shorts which is quite uncomfortable," he said.
Nadal is bidding to win his ninth title in Monte Carlo after winning eight consecutive times between 2005 and 2012. Last year though, he lost to Novak Djokovic in the title clash. He is currently in the quarters of the tournament.