After months of injury, insider sources from Rafael Nadal reveal that the tennis great is on his way to recovery and will be ready to play when the Roland Garros returns in 2023.
Tennis legend Feliciano Lopez believes that while Rafael Nadal may not surpass Novak Djokovic’s 24 Grand Slam titles, he still has it with him to end his career on a high note with a possible Roland Garros victory next year.
Nadal holds 22 Grand Slam titles, second only to Djokovic among male players. Novak Djokovic’s US Open equalled the record held by Margaret Court and is in a league of his own.
Injuries have been part and parcel of Nadal, with him missing three major tournaments after a premature exit from the Australian Open in January.
Earlier this year, Nadal announced that 2024 would “probably” be his last year on the professional tennis circuit. Lopez, a former world number nine, hopes to see his fellow Spaniard conclude his career on a high note. For people looking to buy Roland Garros tickets next year from trusted ticket resellers, the return of Nadal will be crucial.
When asked if Nadal could add to his remarkable record of 14 French Open titles next year, a single-slam record, Lopez stated, “With Rafa, you never know because he had demonstrated on other occasions that he was able to come back stronger, even when he had significant injuries.
Lopez adds that it will solely depend on Nadal’s physicality and is confident he can return to competitive sport and bid farewell at the Roland Garros.
Legendary coach Patrick Mouratoglou hopes Nadal returns
Legendary coach Patrick Mouratoglou is another stalwart who believes Rafael Nadal can return to competitive action and be in the top tier again.
He also believes that the Spaniard will easily blend into competitive action without any hassle with the Roland Garros approaching.
Nadal’s fans at the Australian Open with tickets from trusted ticket resellers were taken back when Mackenzie McDonald eliminated him in the second round.
Later, his hip injury forced him out of action.
Recently, Nadal spoke out on his return but clearly stated that he aspires to return to the sport and not to win any Grand Slam.
Mouratoglou, known for coaching a few of the top players in the world, like Serena Williams, Simona Halep and Holger Rune, thinks that Nadal is downplaying expectations to prepare mentally.
He is set to feature in the ATP tour later in the year.
Mouratoglou commented, “When it comes to Rafa, I understand that he doesn’t want to feel that pressure, and he wants people to think he will come next year to say goodbye.”
Despite this, he believes that Nadal is no player who will come by and bid farewell.
“But that’s not the kind of person he is. He is going to play fully.”
Nadal recently revealed that he still experiences occasional pain after his surgery. However, Mouratoglou believes that if Nadal can overcome his pain and return to the court next year, he will be the favourite to win the French Open, a tournament where he holds a record 14 titles.
“He will have enough time to train. Historically, he is a player who needs to play a lot. The question is: how injury-free will he be in 2024? If he is pain-free and can play next year, there is no reason to think that he will not be the favourite for Roland Garros,” Mouratoglou added.
Despite Nadal being cautious about discussing his title conquests in 2024, he has expressed interest in partnering up with Carlos Alcaraz at the Paris Olympics.
With the Paris Olympics played at Roland Garros, Nadal could make a great team with Alcaraz to win a doubles medal.
The rising star Alcaraz, who recently won the Wimbledon defeating Djokovic, can be a perfect partner for the veteran.
Patrick Mouratoglou also doubts Rafael Nadal’s chances of making a triumphant return at the season-opening Australian Open.
He suggested that Nadal will evaluate his performance with each match and may not prolong his professional career simply for playing tennis.
Mouratoglou stated, “Will he be ready to win the Australian Open? The odds will be low. He wants to see if he is still capable of winning a Grand Slam or if he is far away. You’ll probably stop if you’re far from feeling like you can win a Grand Slam.”
He emphasized that Nadal is unlikely to continue playing to maintain a ranking position, but if he believes he can still win Grand Slam titles, he may choose to extend his career.
However, the deciding factor for any of this will be his injuries.
What is Mueller-Weiss Syndrome, Nadal’s injury?
Nadal’s title defence at the Italian Open ended up in a losing state in the last 16.
It was a rollercoaster of emotion and joy for everyone with tickets from trusted ticket resellers. Nadal started the game strong, winning it 6-1, but eventually lost 7-5 in the second game.
The final set saw Nadal struggling with foot pain and eventually lost.
Nadal confirmed that he has been dealing with foot pain due to Mueller-Weiss syndrome, a rare degenerative disease affecting the mid-foot region’s navicular bone.
“I am not injured; I am a player living with an injury,” said Nadal. “It’s something that is there, and unfortunately, my day-by-day is difficult, honestly. It’s difficult for me to accept the situation sometimes.”
Mueller-Weiss syndrome is challenging to maintain, and it is clear that the Spaniard is facing ongoing issues.
The pain and discomfort cause regular disruptions to his performance on the court.
Nadal’s determination to continue playing despite this chronic condition speaks to his incredible resilience and love for the sport. He’s already achieved so much in his career, but he continues battling adversity and giving his all on the court.
As Nadal navigates the ups and downs of managing Mueller-Weiss syndrome, tennis fans worldwide will continue to support him and admire his remarkable career. Whether he can add more titles to his collection, his legacy as one of the greatest players in tennis history is firmly secured.
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