Nadal Voices Concerns: ‘There’s a High Chance I Might Fail

Owner of 22 Grand Slams, Rafael Nadal predicts that the long break will make it difficult for him to catch up when he returns in the 2024 season.

“There’s a big possibility that things won’t go well. I have to be ready to forgive myself if bad results happen,” Nadal said in a video announcing his return to competition at the Brisbane International starting later this month.

According to Nadal, the hip injury has recovered, but his body in general has reached its limit after many years of competition. “I’m at a different time, not expecting much,” he said. “I like the tension, excitement, nervousness and doubt when returning to the field. If I maintain my enthusiasm and physicality, things can get better.”

Nadal đã nghỉ thi đấu từ sau khi bị loại ở vòng hai Australia Mở rộng năm nay. Ảnh: Marca

Nadal has been out of competition since being eliminated in the second round of this year’s Australian Open. Photo: Marca

Nadal will attend the ATP 250 tournament in Brisbane, then the Australian Open if all goes well. He has been training heavily for the past three weeks, with the same intensity as when he was at his peak. Nadal’s mobility is said to have improved significantly.

His uncle, coach Toni Nadal, said: “Watching Nadal practice over the past few weeks makes me feel like he will play well. He wants to enjoy tennis one last time in the best shape, not retire with injuries hanging over him.”

Pékin : Rafael Nadal en a bavé, Richard Gasquet retrouve Novak Djokovic -  Eurosport

Nadal has many times returned spectacularly after injury. He attended the 2022 Australian Open with one foot severely degenerated but still won the championship after a five-set final with Daniil Medvedev. The 37-year-old tennis player wants to test himself in the hard-court season next year, before focusing his determination on the clay season.

“We all know Nadal’s legs are not the same as 10 years ago, but his head is still the same,” coach Toni added. “Nadal doesn’t think about the results, first of all the feeling of playing must be good.”

Falling far outside the top 600 ATP makes Nadal unseeded next season. He risks meeting the top players in the opening round, but if he beats them, Nadal essentially gets that seeding for the rest of the tournament. “Nadal usually starts slowly so it will be very difficult to play the first match of the Grand Slam,” Mr. Toni expressed concern.

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