Rafa Nadal says ‘my body is like an old machine’ as injuries still a worry
World number four Rafael Nadal has spoken openly about his injury issues stating that his “body is like an old machine” as he discussed his bid to return to top form ahead of the French Open later this month.
The Australian Open champion has endured a spate of injuries since his memorable triumph at Melbourne Park in January.
Most notably and recently, his cracked rib injury he sustained at the Indian Wells Masters which kept him out for six weeks.
Nadal only returned last week to the ATP circuit at the Madrid Masters as he was defeated in the quarter-finals by fellow Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz.
Reflecting on his return to competitive action and discussing his hopes of defending the title in Rome, the 35-year-old said his “body was like an old machine” and that it is going to take time to rebuild his fitness and form.
Speaking in his press conference ahead of the Rome Open, the 21-time Grand Slam winner told reporters, “When you’re six weeks without touching a racket and having the chance to move your body … my body is like an old machine. To put this machine on again it takes some time.
“It’s not the same when you’re 19 than when you are almost 36, with all the issues I went through in my career.
“You need to build again the confidence, your movements, then you start feeling comfortable with your tennis.
“It’s more about being confident with my movements, recover the speed, recover the way that I have to play on clay and let’s see.
“I’m confident that I can play well. I need time, but maybe this week can be a positive week, maybe not. Who knows?”
He also went on to say he is determined to be fully prepared for the French Open on May 22nd.
“That’s my goal … I didn’t have another chance to approach this clay-court season with the things I went through.
“I’m going to give myself a chance and we’ll see what’s going on.”
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