Is the injury severe? Rafael Nadal (36) actually had to leave the Australian Open in the second round. It’s not a matter of a day off for the defending champion, but the body that doesn’t want to follow its head for the umpteenth time. Tennis reporter Inge van Menssel tries to look into Nadal’s poop.
Name a body part that might be on the ten turn card Rafael Nadal at the doctor. In Melbourne, his hips played tricks with him.
“I’ve been feeling something in my hip for several days,” the Spanish coach explained after his defeat in the second round. He suffered an injury in the second group. “I couldn’t move anymore.”
But more often than not, surrender was not in his lexicon. “No, I haven’t thought about it for a moment. I’m old enough to make up my mind.”
Maybe it’s time to make a decision about his future. “I can’t say life is great right now. That might be a lie,” a visibly shaken Nadal explained.
“I’m hurt again. I’m mentally broken. A comeback? I think I can still do it, but it won’t be easy.”
Rafael Nadal himself admitted that it takes a physical and mental overhaul.
“Until now he didn’t want to give up.”
Inge van Menssel watched Rafael Nadal’s match this morning. “Starting your season like that is horrible,” our reporter analyzes.
“Before the tournament, he said he didn’t have the best preparation, because he’d won only once since the US Open. But I just have to accept that,” he said.
“Having stepped on himself, he continued to play, but in fact he could no longer walk.”
“Although Nadal was again exemplary: he is programmed in such a way that he goes for every ball and never wants to give up. No way. Maybe also out of respect for his opponent.”
Is this wise is another question. “Think about Wimbledon, where his stomach injury festered in the quarter-finals and he couldn’t play in the semi-finals. Was it worth it?”
Will Rafael Nadal and Melbourne see each other again?
“He wants to decide for himself and it’s very difficult.”
No matter how hard the body whines, mentally Rafael Nadal feels like it’s tangible. Or does concrete rot form gradually?
“I thought I saw the tears on Nadal and after the match he stood in the middle of the court and started waving. He thought maybe this was my last time in Melbourne. Was it symbolic?”
“His interview was exemplary, too. How long has he not been struggling with his body? It’s given him so much and you can tinker with your body over and over again, but the mental front is the challenge now.”
Nadal – who is also now a father – also admitted it himself: “It will be difficult to go through the whole rehabilitation process again. You have to recover and you also have to work hard to get to the required level again.”
“There comes a time when he has to admit that it is no longer physically possible,” our tennis expert estimates. “But he wants to decide that for himself and that, of course, is very difficult.”
All in all again? Roland Garros 15th win in June, yes. That number alone is insane.
“This must also be a harrowing process, because these pension questions are brought up in every newspaper conversation. It just makes him cringe more and more. The heroes themselves struggle with that: what now?”
But why would a top player like Nadal – perhaps against his better judgement – continue to flog his body like this? In terms of track record and merits, he has long since reached the top of the mountain.
“It’s that simple: pure passion, love of the game. Fame and money, that would be worse for him now. He still goes out to buy every ball.” Also in training, huh. He takes everything very seriously.”
“And there is also this young generation that is challenging him and challenging Djokovic. It motivates him. He has to adapt, he has to look and 9/10 find something too.”
Paris is still far away, which may also be a push from Nadal. “One more is it all? 15th Roland Garros win in June, yeah. That number alone is insane.”
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