“Going To Be Super Difficult for Me”: Rafael Nadal’s Startling Confession Ahead of His Return

Published 12/16/2021, 7:24 AM EST
WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 1: Rafael Nadal (ESP) speaks with press on Media Day ahead of the 2021 Citi Open at Rock Creek Park Tennis Center on August 1, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mike Lawrence/ISI Photos/Getty Images)


Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal has been away from the Tour for a considerable amount of time now. Rafa has been struggling with a persistent foot injury and hasn’t competed since August. However, there has been a positive update as he is supposed to compete in the Mubadala World Tennis Championships 2021. 

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Ahead of his comeback after a lengthy period, Rafael Nadal spoke on the upcoming 2022 season. He intends to take things slowly and not load himself by competing in a number of tournaments. At the age of 35 years, he’s aware of the limitations of his body and doesn’t want to over-exert himself. 

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Speaking on this subject, Rafa stated, “It’s going to be super difficult for me. If things are going well, I’m only going to play one tournament before Australia and these two matches here so the number of hours on court at the competitive level before such a tough and demanding tournament like Australia will be not much but the main thing is still always the same – be healthy.”

Rafael Nadal talks about the ‘Big 3’ with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic 

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Nadal wants to play a tournament and assess himself. After that, he will shift his focus to the Australian Open, but he will not compromise on his health. As long as he feels good on the court, he will perform to the highest level. He also spoke about the prospect of Djokovic overtaking him and Roger since he has been playing tournaments regularly. 

WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 05: Rafael Nadal of Spain waves to the crowd after losing a match to Lloyd Harris of South Africa on Day 6 during the Citi Open at Rock Creek Tennis Center on August 5, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

The 20-time champion stated, “I am outside of the competition for the last five, six months. I understand that the conversation is always there, especially with Novak that who has been playing every week almost. Roger and I have been injured for such a long period of time. Of course, we are equal but the chances for Novak are much higher than for us.”

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This season, Rafael didn’t compete at a Grand Slam after the French Open as he skipped the Wimbledon Championships and the US Open due to the foot injury. If Novak does decide to compete in Australia, it’ll be interesting to see Rafa and Nole go head-to-head for their 21st Grand Slam title. 

Watch this story: The Journey of Roger Federer to the Elite Billionaire’s Club

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Rohan Kollare

1534 articles

Rohan Kollare is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Rohan has studied Sports Management and has a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering Tennis and Formula One.

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