Rafael Nadal ‘has to suffer a little’ upon return claims Boris Becker
Rafael Nadal will ‘have to suffer’ during the Australian Open swing according to Boris Becker, with the German suggesting that the clay court season will be where his hard work comes to fruition.
The Spaniard underwent arthroscopic surgery back in June and has since announced his return, that will take place at the Brisbane International before heading to Melbourne for the first major of 2024.
— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) December 1, 2023
And Becker has previewed Nadal’s comeback, suggesting that Nadal doesn’t have high hopes for the Australian Open, “I don’t think his expectations for Melbourne are sky-high right now: if he wins a few matches there, good for him.”
Nadal will be unseeded for the first time since 2005, meaning that he could play anyone in the first round of tournaments.
However, Becker believes that Nadal will be ready for his preferred clay court swing, “He will then concentrate on the clay-court tournaments early on. He’ll definitely play Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid and maybe even Rome in order to be 100 percent fit again in Paris.
“His goal has to be Roland Garros, and then the Olympics, both of which will be played in Paris on clay. But he has to play first: he will only gain match fitness and match practice by playing in matches. So, he has to suffer a little so that he gets better in March, April, until he can play his best game in May.”
Nadal will officially comeback at the ATP 250 event in Brisbane, that begins on Sunday 31st December, before returning to the Australian Open.
Inside the baseline…
Rafael Nadal has been very open about the fact that 2024 is likely to be the final season of his career and how he wants to go out on his own terms. The Mallorcan is known as the ‘king of clay’ across the world, and like Boris Becker said will have had enough time by the clay court season to get match fit again. This is especially apt with the Olympics tennis tournament also being on the grounds of Roland Garros, where Nadal has been so dominant over the years.
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