Rafael Nadal: “Things are difficult and I accept that”

(Reuters) – Rafael Nadal said he cannot guarantee he will make the trip to Melbourne for next month’s Australian Open after returning to action at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi.

The 20-times Grand Slam champion’s comeback at the exhibition event — his first tournament appearance since the Citi Open in Washington in August — ended in two close defeats by Andy Murray and Denis Shapovalov.

Rafa spent four months on the sidelines with a foot injury. He was knocked out at Roland Garros in the semi-finals and was forced to pull out of Wimbledon, the Tokyo Olympics and the U.S. Open.

“The idea is to go there and try my best there in Australia… Being 100% honest, I can’t guarantee it,” Nadal said. “I need to speak with my team.

“Its more than six months since the last real official match. Things are difficult and I accept that… I was able to compete in both matches and even had my chances, so if we put that in perspective it’s a very positive thing.

“I went through this process unfortunately a lot of times in my tennis career but I need to practice and I need to be healthy enough to go through this process. If that happens, I’m confident that I will be back.”

World number six Rafa said he would not have returned to tennis if he did not feel he was competitive enough to challenge for the biggest titles in the sport.

“I am not playing at all for money or just for fun, I am playing to keep achieving goals or at least to enjoy the process to try to achieve my goals,” he added.

“If then you don’t achieve, it’s fine, but the motivation and the passion is still there.”

Source: Reuters

14 comments

  1. It was a treat watching you play again, Rafa…I was so hungry for some Rafa 🎾.
    Best wishes always! Looking forward to more when you and your team think it’s the right time.
    Take care!❤️

  2. OMG….. Rafa tests positive for Covid as he returns home to Spain from Abu Dhabi…. He has always been so careful but somehow…someway…it got through to him…..

    Here is hoping that all those around you…. family…coaches…players … all escaped it…

    Take rest Rafa…. You are strong and will overcome this….

  3. Missed you Rafa. Nice that you came back for a bit. Take care and hope to see you at the AO. If not, that’s ok. Most important is your health, healing of your foot and your well being.

    Good luck!!! 🍀🍀🍀😘😘😘🤞🤞🤞

  4. Most important is to be well and healthy Rafa we are hope you are going to play the Australia Open all the best we are with you all the way 👍💪😘🎾💪

  5. Trial and trial to chech out if the body is ready, I know the heart and will are. I hope for continuedprogress ,selfishly, but fully understand choices made. Vamos,vamos, Rafa.

  6. He did seem to pull up slightly at one point yesterday, but it was hard to tell … but, with both him and Roger, how long do you go on having treatment on a longstanding injury, if you still don’t feel right? Hoping very much that he’ll play in Melbourne, but not if he doesn’t think it’s the right thing to do.

  7. My wish for Rafa is, to be guided by his team, his surgeon and his own feeling as to how his foot feels to him after hours of practise or playing competitive. Have had a massive void in tennis without Rafa, and the anticipation of him appearing in Abu Dhabi was a spirit lifter for all his fans around the World. Yes it will be a disappointment re the AO, but Rafas’ health is top priority. God Bless and keep you safe Rafa.☘☘🇪🇸🇪🇸🙏🙏

  8. Welcome back to competition-happy to see you back on court. TBH, omicron is casting a huge shadow over all aspects of our lives. No doubt
    you and your team will make the best decision for AO. Stay healthy and
    strong. All the best for the holiday season and 2022.

  9. It was great to see Rafa back on court…. Rafa is an athlete first and foremost and after being sidelined for 6 months it was very important for him to gauge himself against the competition… It’s all about the quality of his tennis now… not just the win (although he has been learning to accept defeat at this time in his career) but at the end of the day losing is not his gig.

    The question is how did he feel both physically and mentally during these matches …..what positives can he take away from the competition at Abu Dhabi…

    I am so glad Carlos was there. They will sit and analyze the pros and cons of moving forward into Australia … a 5 set event …. Is he ready for that? I personally think playing Melbourne is very important for Rafa.. The more matches he plays the more rust comes off him and the higher level of play will reappear…. We already saw glimpses of that level in Abu Dhabi…

    Keep your confidence level up Rafa… You don’t wear the Bull for nothing,,,,

    VAMOS RAFA!!!!

    • And MOST importantly…..Be well and be safe….. Looks like we’re headed for another rollercoaster ride with Omicron….

    • I hope I am wrong but I suspect that Rafa’s foot is not 100%. Perhaps it never will be, given the nature of the problem. We all want Rafa to continue to play at the highest level for at least another year or two but I wonder whether grinding out best of five set matches on hard courts in hot, humid conditions in Melbourne is the right thing for him to do at this very early stage in his (hopefully successful) comeback.
      Perhaps he could go to South America and play a few smaller tournaments on clay to ease himself back into playing competitive matches. Rafa fans will no doubt remember that he did that a few years ago when he was returning to the tour after another long injury lay-off. Whatever he decides to do, let’s hope that Rafa can play pain free and, most importantly for him as well as his fans, play well.

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