ESPN Tennis has published a new article by the Associated Press based on Rafael Nadal’s press conference in Shanghai, where he talks about tennis politics, advocating for fewer hard court tournaments in order to lower the chances of injury and lengthen a player’s career, and his knee troubles. Read the article by AP on the ESPN site here.
Rafael Nadal: Done with politics
SHANGHAI — Rafael Nadal says his belief that too many tournaments are played on hard courts hasn’t changed with his success on the surface this year — he has simply given up trying to change the system.
Nadal said Tuesday before the Shanghai Masters tournament that he still believes too many tournaments are played on the surface, but he’s done trying to influence ATP policymakers. “I am really out of politics, and I don’t want to be involved in (the) politics of … tennis anymore. I know even if you have strong ideas and even if you believe the changes are possible, I know there is always a wall there that is impossible to go over,” he said.
The 13-time Grand Slam winner has long advocated a shorter tournament schedule and more tournaments on clay courts to lessen the wear on players’ bodies and prevent career-threatening injuries, such as the kind with his knees he’s struggled with in recent years.
“I say because it’s something that I think is going to be fair for the next generations if they are able to play (on) an easier surface for the body, to try to have a longer career, to try to be more healthy when they finish (their) careers,” he said. “Something that probably I will not (be lucky enough to have).” Nadal said that despite his remarkable comeback this year, which included winning a record eighth French Open title, he’s still dealing with pain in his left knee on a regular basis.
“Since I came back, the feeling on the knee is not 100 percent perfect. But the feeling on the knee is very good for me because even if I have pain a lot of days, the pain is not limiting my movements,” he said. Nadal is now determined to keep up his momentum through the end of the season and the ATP World Tour Finals in London — a time of year he has traditionally struggled with fatigue and injuries.
“I know in the past this part of the season was hard for me, but I am confident that I can keep playing well. I am doing the right things to be ready,” he said. (AP)