Rafael Nadal‘s 2023 certainly didn’t start under a lucky star. The Spanish phenomenon left the scene prematurely at the Australian Open, where he was called to defend the title won in 2022, as well as having sustained a second-degree injury to the ileo-psoas.
The 36-year-old from Manacor dropped out of the Top 5 and we will hardly see him again on the field before the Montecarlo Masters 1000. His big goal is obviously Roland Garros, where he will go hunting for the 15th seal of him.
The former world number 1 was hooked by Novak Djokovic at the top of the all-time Grand Slam rankings, after the Serbian won his tenth Australian Open a few weeks ago. Rafa’s physical condition worries fans, who are asking many questions about their idol’s future.
The Iberian has no longer expressed his best tennis since the semifinal reached at Wimbledon last year and has won only one match in 2023. The 22-time Grand Slam champion will try to reverse course on his favorite surface.
Update on Rafa Nadal
Rafael Nadal, who was set to take part in the Dubai Tennis Championships after 15 years, has pulled out of the ATP 500 tournament.
Currently sitting at No. 6, Nadal has 3,815 points to his name, 100 more than World No. 7 Felix Auger-Aliassime. Doubles specialist Horacio Zeballos reckons Rafael Nadal ending his career could be due to more mental issues than physical ones after his latest injury setback.
“If it is the end, it would be because of something more mental than physical. It is very difficult to say because he has surprised us many times with his ability to come back so well after injuries. I speak to you as a tennis fan more than from logic.
I hope he will be there this year because it is very nice to see him play,” he said. “Like Federer, like Djokovic, Nadal have shown that he can stop and come back with inhuman achievements. He gets injured and then wins, I don’t know, how many more Grand Slams.
Age does not help things to be the same as 10 years ago. Seems difficult for him to return to the top level he has shown for so many years, but he never ceases to amaze us. Let’s hope he comes back strongly,” he added.
“I beat him in a final! Yes, yes obviously. I didn’t want him not to lose any more, so I could be the last one who had beaten him. I also didn’t want to play me again, so that the record would stick to one to one. … It was a source of pride for me, I’ll never forget it.”