Rafael Nadal Reveals the Major Change in His Game to Cope With Back Injury at Australian Open 2021

Published 02/09/2021, 4:30 AM EST
Tennis – A Day at the Drive Exhibition – Memorial Drive Tennis Club, Adelaide, Australia – January 29, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal reacts during his match against Austria’s Dominic Thiem REUTERS/Morgan Sette


World No. 2 Rafael Nadal is currently in Australia, competing in the season’s first Grand Slam tournament. He began his journey by registering a comfortable win over Serbia’s Laslo Djere.

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It took the Spaniard close to two hours to cross his first hurdle of the event. He will face the winner of the match between Michael Mmoh and Viktor Troicki.

However, Nadal is currently facing issues with regard to his back. He is not feeling completely up to the mark. After his first-round victory, he stated that he had to make alterations in his service action due to the troubles he is facing with his back. 

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Tennis – A Day at the Drive Exhibition – Memorial Drive Tennis Club, Adelaide, Australia – January 29, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal during his match against Austria’s Dominic Thiem REUTERS/Morgan Sette

Rafael Nadal: “Need to go day-by-day and try to stay positive”

The 13-time French Open champion said, “Today it’s not great. I needed to change a little bit motion of my serve. That’s what I tried to survive that condition today. Tomorrow a day off. After tomorrow, another match. I need to go day-to-day and just try to stay positive.”

As the tournament progresses, the matches will get tougher and the Spaniard will need to feel fully fit in order to repeat his heroics of 2009 when he lifted his maiden Australian Open title. 

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 7, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal during a practice session before the Australian Open REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

Prior to the Australian Open, Rafa was part of team Spain at the ATP Cup. However, he did not play a single match due to his back injury and chose to sit in his team’s corner, inspiring his teammates. 

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Nadal began the season in Adelaide, where he headlined the one-day exhibition event, ‘A Day at the Drive’ before heading to Melbourne. 

Last season, Nadal reached the quarterfinal of the Australian Open before losing to World No. 3 Dominic Thiem. Ultimately, he ended up winning his thirteenth Roland Garros title, taking him at par with Roger Federer’s 20 Grand Slam titles. 

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Rohan Kollare

735 articles

Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and 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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