Welcome back home, Rafa!

(EFE) – Rafael Nadal said on Thursday, two days after retiring from his Australian Open quarter-final match with an inner right hip ailment, that he hoped a long-term solution can be found to reduce the number of injuries on the ATP Tour.

“When there are more injuries than usual, it’s because something’s happening,” the world No. 1 said after he and his team arrived at the airport serving Palma de Mallorca, capital of the Spanish autonomous community of the Balearic Islands.

Rafa, who retired on Tuesday night while trailing Croatian world No. 6 Marin Cilic 3-6, 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, 2-0, will be out for three weeks after an MRI he underwent in Melbourne revealed a Grade 1 strain of his iliopsoas muscle.

He recalled that he brought attention to a recent spate of injuries on Tour at the start of the Australian Open, a Grand Slam event he decided to play despite concerns about a right-knee injury.

He stressed, however, that he was not calling on the Tour to immediately make changes, such as moving more tournaments to surfaces easier on the body or shortening the tennis calendar.

“But if within a few years there’s a chance for some change that would benefit future generations of tennis players and improve their quality of life, that would be very positive, especially for the health of the athletes,” the 16-time Grand Slam champion said.

Our champ was clear, however, that he had no plans to retire in the short term.

“I don’t know how long I’ll play, whether it will be three, four or five more years. But when that time comes, I’ll know and I won’t be afraid. But now I’m not thinking about my retirement,” he said.

Rafa said that when referring to the detrimental effects of hard courts – the most commonly used surface on the ATP Tour – he was in no way doing so for his own personal gain.

“Few sports, as is the case with tennis, are played (mainly) on cement, hard, very aggressive surfaces, but I’m just another player giving his opinion,” Rafa, who will recover from his injury in his home town of Manacor, said.

Source: EFE


  1. Sometimes in early December 2017, I had relayed to all Rafa fans out here some of the 2018 predictions that I had been privileged to ‘extract’ from good old her Aunt Maria (Siberia), but as usual nobody appeared to have paid much attention to it.

    I repeat the predictions hereunder:

    1. Rafa Nadal will withdraw from the AO 2018 finals due to injury (This came to pass with deadly precision). Infact,I recall she had desperately wanted Rafa to by all means avoid AO 2018 she said she feared the injury may jeorpadise his winning chances at FO 2018.

    2. Roger Federer will win AO 2018 and thus get his last grand slam of his career. This has happened.

    3. Rafa Nadal has good chances of winning all the remaining grand slams in a row IF HE STAYS HEALTHY. I remember frighteningly and stammeringly asking her: ”Dear Aunt, does that include Wimble-wimble-wimbledon?” She laughed loudly as she answered”Yes, of course!”

    But, as always, we’d see……….hmmmn

    • Dear Maria (Snake Island),

      I have noticed and remembered clearly the information you have “extracted” from Aunt Maria Siberia back in Dec 2017. I remembered that she was pretty spot on for Rafa’s US Open run. Anyway, I did not have my hopes when Rafa was playing his first few rounds even though he looked pretty in form before the Schwartzman match.

      Would take 3 slams in a row anytime! 🙂

      As usual, let’s see and hope for the best.

  2. If I’m not mistaken they do that at Wimbledon too. Rafa does not playing with the roof shut at least at Wimbledon. Whatever it is everyone knows that Federer likes the roof shut. This also proves that the stars and luck are usually in Federer’s side which in addition to his talent is quite an advantage for him.
    I hope all the other players have seen that cilic took 2 sets off him and it would definitely be possible to beat Federer.

    Vamos Rafa!!!!

  3. I have to say i am very disgusted by the conduct of the australian open organizers. In my opinion they are absoluty pro federer. They made everything possible for him the last two years to win the title. They made the surface harder and faster that will suit his game. Also he played only night matches no day matches in the burning heat and even today they closed the roof for him so that cilic had a disadvantage and federer a big advantage. due to the heat and wind

    Especially the last one pisses me off. They were not willing to close the roof for the ladies final yesterday and as a result of that Simona Halep was rushed to the hospital and hospitalized due to severe dehydration but they were willing to do that for Federer

    • Lorna,

      Yes unfortunatly cilic choked again in the fifth by not taking his chances in the first game of the fifth set and give the momentum away to federer als always the schwiss survives these kind of moments. God what a disaster halep not winning and now federer winning.

      I believe that nadal will come back. I dont think federer will play clay court season so that will open chances for nadal. Nadal and Moya should first figure out how to end the losing streak against federer. Moya should convince Nadal that Nadal old way of playing against Federer will not work anymore.

      Key issue in my opinion should be to improve bigly his return. Furthermore i hope that djokovic will turn back to his best. The gap between Federer and Nadal should not be bigger. Nadal should focuss on winning 11 title at roland garros. and hopefully somebody will prevent roger winning at Wimbeldon.

      • Yes, Cilic got too anxious in the fifth set, snatched at some of the balls and therefore netted shots he should have made. Unfortunately he threw away the match after all his hard work in the fourth to get back on level terms. The rest of the year will be exciting and I can’t wait to see what unfolds. I know that, rather than being disheartened at Federer widening the gap, Rafa will be fired up to meet the challenge!

    • Uuh, that figures, Lorna.

      Rafa is always doing catch up!

      But as always, we’d see……hmmn

  4. was i a little bit too fast with my conclusion. 2 sets all maybe a suprise and not a 20th grandslam title for federer

  5. Yes. Most of us expected that and that’s why I’m not watching. Also I’m a bit afraid that Federer seems to be really playing better than always. Hope to God he decides not to play in RG this year too.
    Federer has made changes to his racquet and also to his backhand that had once been so vulnerable to Rafa. He’s probably made many other changes including his schedule. Wish Rafa would do the same. One has to keep on looking into changes to help get to winning ways again.
    Anyway I wish Rafa all the very best always – my one and Only favourite player.
    Love you and wish you come back beating everyone.

  6. Cilic doing exactly what many including myself predicted: a complete no show. Rafa has only himself to blame for losing to such a ‘loser’ . With all due respect and bla bla etc… He just hands Roger his 20th major. A disgrace.

    • jean sober

      couldnt agree more i am watching the final a complete domination of federer. This makes me complete nuts. I really feel exactly like you that nadal is only self to blame for the loss against cilic. I really hope Nadal and Djokovic turn back to their best to challenge Federer otherwise this will be complete dominant federer season a disaster for the atp.

      With regard to Nadal he needs to skip tournaments that dont matter. Monte Carlo is one of them also Barcelona and Beijing. Furthermore no davis cup or laver cup complete focuss on master series tournaments and grandslam.

      Federer will win his 20 grandslam. Nadal hopefully will come back stronger in Indian Wells and Miami and i hope he will end his losing streak against federer.

  7. For me its very unfortunate for rafa with the injury…he was looking good to lift the trophy this time…but why this happen all the time specially in Australia dont know.. …i really want Australia n open being started from 3 rd week of January…
    I thought Rafa was little relaxed after 3 rd set win …. obviously when u play that much of tennis u will relax but from start of 4 the set cilic was so so agressive he was going for shots….so rafa got no time to relax…and that caused the match….rafa dont get easy point like Federer on his serve thats why it helpless situation….on injury…..rafa really needs aces free points on serve…serve like 2013….. anyway…u played like a champion rafa get well soon …..want to watch again on courts…..

  8. Such wonderful, intelligent comments … nothing left for me to say but I agree. I pray for your quick recovery Rafa my boy. The thrills n glamour have gone from the AO 2018 when you retired. You were playing so well n we were looking fwd to another final battle of the big 2 favorites FEDAL – so sad this was not to be! Good on you for giving your valued opinion Rafa, n I hope this does not fall on deaf ears. God bless you Rafa. I miss seeing you play so much. Get well soon. Vamos Rafa. God bless you. Your Aussie Abuela. Nan Shirley. 🐂🏆👑⛵️🎉🎉🎉

  9. So many players are being side-lined by injuries. This is very unfortunate and disturbing especially since it seems to be taking longer to bounce back given the degree of injury whether it be back, knee, hip, shoulder, elbow, ankle and the list goes on and on. Can’t the powers that be provide better protection and cover for these valued athletes perhaps less mandatory tournaments or shorter seasons? Team sports run shorter than tennis in America, for example. One player has to bear the brunt of playing a few hours straight in matches alone. Why do the hard court surfaces always dominate 2 out of 4 grand slams and the apt final at the end of the year? There should be greater discussion, care and equity about all these issues. Seriously, I am missing all the great rivalries which makes tennis so great. I found it devestating when an athlete has to retire for good reason. I felt so badly for Rafa and also so badly for H. Chung. Its’ also sad when Stan and Novak couldn’t really compete at 100% due to their lingering injuries. This hurts such a great sport which I love. Tennis management, please take better care of your valued players!
    Thanks, Rafa for speaking up and being so mindful. Wishing you rest and a speedy recovery!

  10. glad you got home save,hope everything goes well for your recovery,take it easy will wait to hear how things are going vamos rafa xxxx

  11. Good luck Rafa. Recovering from the injury is one. But two is much more important: please stop making these terrible mistakes when making your schedule.

    • jean sober,

      have you see his schedule. same old same old. He is going to play monte carlo and barcelona which he won both 10 times. He is also planning to play beijing after the us open.

      • Mjus, I quite agree. Rafa just can’t help himself when it comes to which tournaments he plays. I know he has points to protect but if he receives a serious injury through overplaying he could be out for months. It has happened before, it can happen again.
        His doctor is now giving him warnings about returning from injuries too soon and says he should cut down on his schedule.
        I am no Federer fan but Fed plans his schedule very carefully and you never see him racing madly from one tournament to the next. Because of the number of years Rafa has been playing, he, like Fed, is exempt from fines if he does not play in the required number of tournaments .. (I think it is about twelve years of play before a player receives these considerations unless he is injured of course which costs him points only.)
        I wonder about Rafa’s team, the long term members. I’m not sure that they are really considering his health or maybe Rafa does not listen them. I have more faith in Moya who seems to have a new perspective. He told Rafa when Rafa first approached him to be his coach it would be on condition that Rafa did not play while injured.
        But now Rafa is talking about playing in Apapulco. He may not be fully recovered by then and he will ruin his chances at Indian Wells which is a bigger tournament and has more points.
        Do you think he (Rafa) will ever change?

      • Thank you Margo! 🤗🌸
        – Yes soo amazing and great achievement from Caroline W. 🎾💪🏻👱🏻‍♀️🏆💐🥇👏🏻🍀😃🇩🇰

  12. ci……..ci…….ci……sweetheart!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) XOXOXOXO

  13. Wishing you a full and complete recovery.Please take good advice from those around you.You are surrounded by love ❤️ and good wishes.VAMOS.🇪🇸👍🏼

  14. Bravo for speaking out. Who would know better than you? It is obvious when the list of injured players keeps growing.

    Good luck with your recovery-wish you the best🍀💕

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