A leading sports scientist has rejected Rafael Nadal's claim that hard courts are too tough on players' body.
Edward Winter from the Center for Sport and Exercise Science at the UK's Sheffield Hallam University said there is currently no proof to back up Nadal's claims, CNN.com reports.
Winter said the evidence backing Nadal's claims isn't there, which is surprising considering how long serious sport has been played, but he added the proper randomized controlled trials simply haven't been done.
Winter further said most of the evidence present is anecdotal and by that he means identifying trends of injuries, which can be related to surfaces, or the equipment is difficult to disentangle from individual anecdotes that athletes or others make.
Nadal, who has struggled with knee problems during his career, criticized the Association of Tennis Players, saying they worry too little about players' health, adding that officials should consider reducing the number of tournaments played on hard surfaces in a bid to prolong sports activity on and off court, the paper reported.
However, Winter who is a professor of the physiology of exercise, said there are many factors in play when it comes to assessing player health, the paper said.
Winter isn't without empathy for the 26-year-old, who he said has suffered a lot during a seven-month layoff from the game, but a knee jerk-type reaction by the tennis authorities is unwarranted, the paper added. (ANI)