Rafael Nadal is currently in doubt whether to confirm participation in the Australian Open 2022, in Melbourne, or to give up playing the first Grand Slam of next season. A news certified by the declarations issued by the Spaniard himself at the end of the tournament exhibition in Abu Dhabi.
Upon returning, the Manacor native first of all had feedback on his current physical condition and then took advantage of the opportunity to face excellent players on hard courts. The results were not satisfactory, however, as the former world number one suffered two consecutive defeats with Andy Murray and Denis Shapovalov, despite the fact that he fought and spent a lot in both games.
The concerns and some perplexities were expressed by the athlete in the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Nadal explained: "I have to talk to my team and make a decision. I cannot 100% guarantee my presence at the Australian Open 2022.
My plan is to go there and do my best. This is my goal and idea, but I have to look at how the body feels after these two days. I have some time to choose, we'll do it as the days go by." On the two matches: "I was not at the top, but I have shown that I can compete with good players.
There is a lot to improve in the coming weeks, but I am happy to have stood up to players like Murray or Shapovalov. I need time. People think he played in Washington for the last time, but I played those games with bad feelings.
After Roland Garros it was a disaster for me. My foot didn't even allow me to train or play well. It's been six months since my last real official match." In tyhe end of the press conference he said:" I don't play tennis for money or for fun, I do it because I want to keep achieving goals or at least enjoy that process.
If you don't reach them, that's fine, but the motivation and passion are still there. Today Denis was superior to me."
Nadal on Djokovic and Federer
Rafael Nadal is finally back on the court after several months off.
The Spanish champion came back from a very troubled season, in which physical problems prevented him from playing as much as he would have liked. Suffice it to say that the 35-year-old Mallorcan played just seven official tournaments in 2021, while still managing to put a couple of trophies on his beloved clay court.
Pain in his foot and a Novak Djokovic in a state of grace prevented him from winning his 14th Roland Garros. Due to a chronic foot injury, the former world number 1 was forced to miss Wimbledon, the Tokyo Olympics and the US Open.
If there are no further setbacks, the 20-time Grand Slam champion will participate in the Melbourne ATP 250 (which starts on January 4th). His hope is to present himself in good shape at the Australian Open 2022, where he will try to repeat his only triumph dating back to 2009.
Speaking to the media during the Abu Dhabi exhibition, Rafa admitted that it will not be easy to return to the top. levels. Nadal said: "It will be very difficult for me to get back to the top. If things go well, I will only play one tournament before the Australian Open.
The amount of hours on the pitch will be very small in view of a tournament as demanding as the Australian Open. I hope to stay healthy, it is the key to being able to move forward. I still want to get involved and fight for my goals."
Nadal also talked about Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic: "I understand that the conversation about the number of Grand Slam titles is always alive, but our situations are very different. Roger and I have been standing still for quite a long time.
Djokovic played very well in 2021 and is still at the top of the ATP rankings. Federer and I have more or less the same chances of winning other Grand Slams, while Novak's chances are much higher."