Rafa Roundup: What awaits Rafa at the US Open? Will he be healthy enough?

Rafael Nadal, of Spain, speaks during a media availability for the U.S. Open at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Friday, Aug. 26, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Bryan R. Smith)
Rafael Nadal speaks during a media availability for the U.S. Open at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Friday, Aug. 26, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Bryan R. Smith)

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Rafael Nadal on the latest about his wrist injury:

Well, I am better. I am a little bit better. It’s obvious that when you have been outside two months and a half you need a little bit of time.

I try to go quick, especially in the Olympics and then competing last week in Cincinnati, but the wrist still bothers me a little bit. It’s true that the wrist bothers me a little bit less every day. I need to understand again to hit my normal forehand.

During the wrist injury always you try to find movements to avoid the pain. So I think today I can start the forehand, I think my normal forehand, but still needs time to feel that I am more confident on my wrist. But I am practicing well and I am competing well, I think.

Scanning the men’s bracket at this year’s U.S. Open, it’s easy to see a titanic battle of generations developing at Flushing Meadows in the near future. Or, more precisely, a titanic battle between the haves and the should-haves. Novak Djokovic vs. Marin Cilic, Rafael Nadal vs. Milos Raonic, Stan Wawrinka vs. Nick Kyrgios and Andy Murray vs. Kei Nishikori are all possible second-week matchups.

“The injury I had is very complicated and delicate,” he said. “There are two possibilities: either it gets better with rest or you have to operate. At the moment, it seems everything has gone well, but at the same time it could have turned out differently and I might have had to stop for surgery. I hope things keep going well. So far, after many hours of loading the wrist, it hasn’t gotten worse. This is important and very positive. I hope that day by day and week by week the wrist will keep feeling more comfortable and I will feel freer when hitting the ball.”

The numbers say that as far as Nadal and the U.S. Open go, anything can happen. Small wonder he chose to go from Rio to Cincinnati to get a few more matches before the Grand Slam finale.

Nadal knows what it takes to win the U.S. Open, and he knows what the U.S. Open can do to the poorly prepared. He’s fit, pointing out that his Olympic schedule of singles and doubles was like playing a daily best-of-five singles match. The wrist is a question mark—a scary one.

… Nadal remains a formidable hard-court player. He knows how to adjust his court positioning, hugging the baseline more, flicking half volleys stupendously at times off deep returns of serve, stepping inside the court whenever possible to rifle flattened out forehands into empty spaces. Nadal’s adaptability is one of his least appreciated traits, and that will be revealed as always when he launches a quest for a third crown this year in New York, at a tournament he has come to love.

VIDEO: Rafael Nadal talks tennis, fishing ahead of the US Open | CNBC

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8 thoughts on “Rafa Roundup: What awaits Rafa at the US Open? Will he be healthy enough?

  1. Good luck Rafa at the USO ….your million of fans will be there rooting for you all the way! So excited that you are able to play…the whole tennis world misses you when you are not there .. tennis is just better with Rafa in it! VAMOS RAFA !

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  2. Géraldine Muller

    J espère de tout coeur pour rafa que son poignet est en bonne voie de totale guérison ! Vamos rafa et rendez vous pour la finale et le podium pour la coupe 👍👍👍❤❤❤👑👑👑👑👑👑👑

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  3. Elaine Crowder

    Rafa in your New York photos you look and seem fit after all your marathon effort at Cincinnati and Rio.
    It seems you have had a chance to have a break between Cincinnati and New York and to get practice cranked up.
    Love and prayers for your first game,

    AlaineXXSYDNEYXXAUSTRALIAXX.

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  4. Margo

    Wishing you a great US Open run, Rafa.

    This is the first time you even mention surgery so I just hope you are able to play with confidence. It is now three months since your injury but not three months of rest. I hope you made the right choice and that my fears are unwarranted. Play like the champion you are and instill fear in your opponents. RIO+US Open 👏👏👏👏

    RAFA RACKS NYC

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    1. va4favre

      Hi Margo, I think I recall Rafa mentioning that he might have to have surgery when he withdrew. The good news is that his wrist seems to be improving. We all saw how much tennis Rafa played in Rio, so that is a good sign. As we know, GSs give players a day between matches unless weather intervenes. I hope that Rafa makes a deep run in NYC, but I am just happy to see him play! It is boring without him.

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      1. Margo

        Hiya va4favre, if Rafa did say that I am thrilled I missed it. I would have been more of a basket case if he said he might need surgery.

        The thing is he keeps saying that even though the wrist is not improving, the good part is that it is not getting worse. He is still playing with pain but said that is to be expected. I guess he is working on adapting to his new circumstances.

        I am sooo grateful for those days of rest between matches at the USO. He said he needs to keep playing and exercising to get back into form. That was his intention at the W&S. I hope he got plenty of exercise after that. He is eager and excited to play so I just hope his body feels the same way. I think he will be fine if he plays with confidence which I believe he is working on. It would be just fantastic to see him hold up the USO trophy again.

        RAFA ROCKS MANHATTAN

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