Rafael Nadal hopes to play more tennis next year

(AFP) – Rafael Nadal said on Sunday that he “is not worried” about his history of injury withdrawals at the Paris Masters ahead of his latest bid to win the event for the first time, just three weeks after his 13th French Open title.

This will only be Nadal’s eighth appearance in the tournament at Bercy Arena, situated less than 14km across Paris from Roland Garros, and he has reached the final just once.

Photo: Christophe Guibbaud / FFT

His last two visits have ended in injury, last year before a semi-final against Denis Shapovalov, and in 2017 ahead of a quarter-final with Filip Krajinovic.

“I am here to play my best and not to think about injuries, hopefully not,” said the 34-year-old.

“When I go to a tournament, I just focus on trying to play my best tennis. Not worry about if I got injured in the past that can happen again.

“It’s true that we are in different circumstances than previous years. But always you need to take care about the situation and you need to be ready to accept any inconvenience.”

Nadal’s one-sided French Open final victory over Novak Djokovic last month drew him level at the top of the all-time list with Roger Federer with a 20th men’s Grand Slam singles title.

But he often struggles for form and fitness at the end of the year and has also never won the season-ending ATP Tour Finals.

After his 13th Roland Garros triumph, Nadal suggested he may skip the indoor hardcourt tournaments.

But he now says that he also plans to play in the last edition of the Tour Finals to be staged in London later this month, before it moves to Turin.

“Yes. If nothing happens here, yes,” the Spaniard said.

“(It) is part of the history of our game. It’s an important event and is a party of the best players of the season.”

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Nadal has only played two tournaments in the last seven months.

But he does not plan to play with a reduced schedule like the one adopted by his long-time rival Roger Federer in recent years.

“I like to play tennis, so I like to play a little bit more than two tournaments every six or seven months, no?” he added.

“I like to play a little bit more before important tournaments but not because of the important tournament going there… It’s because I like to play tennis, I like competition and that’s what I do.

“So it’s nothing new that I played well after a while without playing tennis.

“I did it in the past. So that confirms that I can do it. But I hope next year we can have a more usual calendar and I can play some more tennis.”

The top seed gets his tournament under way with a second-round match against either former runner-up Krajinovic or his veteran compatriot Feliciano Lopez.

Source: AFP

17 comments

  1. Rafa made it to the finals at the Paris Masters in 2007 and played against David Nalbandian. That was THIRTEEN years ago.

    Thirteen was lucky for Rafa at this year’s FO and I hope that luck is still with him so he can lift his first Paris Masters trophy. I am sure he will be very happy if he can and maybe even say FINALLY, I did it, with a childlike wide-eyed smile across his face.

    He can do it.

      • He is in it so I want him to win it. I have good feelings about this one.

        Good luck to the Champion.

      • Two more days Mimi until Rafa says “adios Feli.”

        Five Spaniards in R1, six of you count Rafa. I hope he is the last one standing.

      • Yes Margo, I can’t wait……Feli is one of Rafa’s good friends, and he can be a tricky opponent as he is also a lefty, but I believe Rafa will win his 1000th ATP victory against him!

        I hope so too. All the best to Rafa🍀❤️

  2. Djokovic was asked if he was content to allow world No. 2 Nadal to catch up with him in the Masters race, Djokovic said: “It’s not my priority. My immediate task is to collect as many points as I can in a bid to put as much distance between myself and the chasing pack ahead of next season.

    “I want to go down in history as the world No.1 with the most weeks at the top of the ATP Tour and I will do all I can to make it happen.

    “Whether Nadal plays in Paris or not changes nothing because it’s all in my hands.”

    Well…. it may not be in his hands.

    “The ATP Tour, which joined the WTA Tour in freezing rankings until the return date for both tours (tentatively June 7), are in the midst of deciding the Djokovic issue [weeks as No. 1] (and others). The result is likely to be controversial, either way.”

    I have to ask if ND is aware that “Simon Higson, a spokesperson for the ATP, wrote in an email: ‘Many aspects related to the freeze of the FedEx ATP rankings, as well as the details as to how the freeze will work with the resumption of the Tour, are still to be confirmed following further review. Further information will be provided in due course.’”

    Following are the Big Three‘s placements out of everyone on the list:

    #1 Roger 310
    #2 ND 292
    #6 Rafa 209
    [Sources: Reuter’s via ESPN.com; ultimatetennisstatistics.com]

    And here I thought he wanted to be the player with most year-end No. 1 titles.

    No matter where Rafa ends up on this list it surely won’t define him; it’s what he has given to tennis and his worldwide admirers, young and old, that will be his legacy.

  3. Looking for the first much Rafa we miss you on the tennis court vamosssssss champ one the best human being all the love from your fans 👍😘🎾👍😘🎾😘

  4. Can’t wait to see you back on the court in my birth city. I look so forward to see you compete, in my mind you are one of the finer, best athletes ever.
    Concerned about how Paris is handling this event given the lockdown because of Covid.
    Main thing is that Rafa and entourage be well.

  5. I am still floating on a cloud from Rafa’s incredible victory at RG. He exceeded even his fans’ lofty expectations. I would love Rafa to win in Paris, but it is more important to me that he stay healthy and covid free. I was not sure if he would play again this year, so I am delighted. A tournament without Rafa is like a day without sunshine.

    • Va4favre, your last sentence “A tournament without Rafa is like a day without sunshine.” I just love that comparison.

      • It’s the best analogy of all ages in respect to Rafa.

        But as always, we go point by point…………..cheers

Leave a Reply