Rafael Nadal he has had countless physical problems during his long career, also due to a very wasteful playing style. Although he has had to stay out of several tournaments, the Spaniard has shown a longevity that very few would have expected when he stepped on the circuit.
The former world number 1 wowed everyone last year, winning the Australian Open and Roland Garros against all odds. Returning from 2021 with just seven tournaments played, the Mallorcan is back in fashion reiterating that he is a living legend of this sport.
The last few months have been quite difficult for Rafa, who has not been able to express his best tennis since the semifinal he reached at Wimbledon. The beginning of 2023 did not bring him luck, since the Iberian suffered a second degree injury in the ileus-psoas during the Australian Open.
The 22-time Grand Slam champion has already withdrawn from the ATP tournaments in Doha and Dubai, while his presence in Indian Wells and Miami remains uncertain. It is not unlikely that Nadal will choose to preserve his body ahead of the clay court season.
Rafael Nadal Shield
Tennis legend Serena Williams’ former batting partner Sascha Bajin recently explained why Rafael Nadal was forced to lose muscle in his early days to protect his knees. «Guys, it’s simple. Muscle mass is weight.
Every unnecessary pound you have to carry with you is multiplied when you slide onto a hard-court ball. Your knees (joints) are generally absorbing most of the impact. Especially the upper body muscles are unnecessary for tennis,» Bajin wrote.
«A huge bicep, for example, isn’t really tennis-specific to me. And guys play 5 sets in slams and you know putting ankle weights on with just 1 pound on each leg makes a world of difference. So this can definitely weigh you down and make you slower and more tired,» Bajin wrote.
Doubles specialist Horacio Zeballos believes that the end of Rafael Nadal’s career could be due to more mental than physical problems after his latest injury. «If it is the end, it would be for something more mental than physical.
It’s very difficult to say because he has surprised us many times with his ability to come back so well after injuries. I speak to you as a tennis fan more than from logic. Hopefully he will be there this year because it is very nice to see him play, ”he said.