This season has been quite troublesome for the Spaniard as he has been constantly pulling out of various tournaments due to some injury or the other. Fans believe that out of this frustration, he decided to play the Swiss Indoors in Basel and this big risk proved to be unsuccessful as he lost to the un-seeded 17- year old Borna Cornic 2-6,6-7(4).
Nadal announced his decision last Friday stating he has to undergo a surgery on Nov. 3, and that his 2014 season was over now.
”It’s the day to say goodbye to the season,” Nadal said. ”It’s been a very hard year for me, mentally and physically. I’m not going to play Paris and London, I’m not competitive enough for that. I need to do the surgery for my appendix and I need to work on my back.”
Almost all parts of his body have been aggravated enough: right elbow, left-ankle stress fracture, tarsal scaphoid bone in left foot, requiring constant shoe adjustments and training precautions, shoulder, tendonitis in both knees, perpetually, back pains and right wrist.
The best thing though about Nadal is that he knows how to rehabilitate and make a comeback from his injuries. Perhaps no athlete in the sports history has ever made so many successful championship comebacks. He has proved that he has the capability, mentality and the will to overcome physical limitations.But the frequency and intensity of these injuries are dangerously increasing. He’s reached a point in his career where it may be impossible for him to play a complete tennis season. This could mean that he may have to readjust his playing schedule by adding more rest and peaking only for his very best opportunities.
According to experts, unless he is miraculously healed and is in phenomenal shape, he shouldn’t even think about competing in any other tournament before the Australian Open. It is going to take him 5-6 weeks until he can recoup from his surgery and is fit to play again, but then, he is going to take his time getting used to the constant pressure of incessant tournaments.
The solution? He should be focusing only on the peak tournaments and the grand slams, giving him the time to take the edge off and looking after his health. This can only happen if Nadal skips fast-court tournaments that have not routinely been part of his conquered empire. If he cannot play the U.S. Open, he shouldn’t even consider going to the Far East for tournaments in Beijing, Tokyo and Shanghai. Why should he wear his body out to play indoor tournaments in Paris or the WTA final in London, if it compromises his efforts at Melbourne or the European clay-court season?
As a result of backing out of the 2013 Wimbledon due to a sore knee and some other early tournaments, he was successful in gaining 7 months of strengthening and conditioning. Consequently, he was fresh and ready with his newly adjusted backhand ripping shots and setting up titles at Brazil, Mexico, Indian Wells, Barcelona, Madrid, Rome and Paris. Clearly, his fresher legs and training maximized his opportunities to win titles that he was best suited to win.
The tennis experts all around the globe are debating and discussing over his recent performances; if an athlete like him, 28 years old, who has held the world no. 1 title for 141 weeks, and has broken the record of Bjorne Borg of winning the Wimbledon after the Rolland Garros twice, is already being acclaimed as the best player of his time by a lot of fans: does it make any sense for him to push himself with ATP’s rigorous schedule? Instead, it shall be suitable for him to opt out of these and give his best shot in all other tournaments and Grand Slams thus giving himself time to rejuvenate and come back even stronger every time he sets foot on the court.