VIDEO: ‘Let’s go!’ – Rafael Nadal steps up practice intensity ahead of comeback
Rafael Nadal appears to be stepping up his comeback as he posted another video of an intense training session at his academy.
Nadal has played just four matches in 2023 and none since January due to a hip problem.
The injury quickly followed foot and abdominal problems 2022 as well, and as a result he has dropped outside of the top 650 in the world rankings.
However, he is clearly now on the comeback trail, and to prove it he posted a video on Instagram of him training alongside coach Carlos Moya at his Mallorca base – and he does not look far away at all.
Rafa beginning a new week of training 💪
Keep an eye out for a comeback announcement, coming soon 👀
📸 Rafael Nadal IG pic.twitter.com/WfhPWvLQE5
— Olly 🎾🇬🇧 (@Olly_Tennis_) November 20, 2023
When will Rafael Nadal be back from injury?
Nadal is yet to make an announcement on when he will return, although crucially he has now confirmed that he fully expects a return to happen.
Speaking at the Teknon Tennis Clinic in Barcelona last week, he said: “If you want something new that I hadn’t told you until now: I didn’t know if I would play tennis again one day. And now, I sincerely believe that I will play again.
“Let it be in one place or another because I’m not ready to say it yet. But I am happy with how things are evolving.”
Two key questions remain unanswered, though. The biggest is when he will be back.
“There is nothing to all this,” he said. “I understand the interest of the news but in the end when this happens, or when I know I’m coming back, I’ll say it.
“When I know what I’ll do, I’ll be the first to tell you anything.”
The other question is what level will Nadal be when he does get back onto court. That is perhaps the more relevant one.
We saw with Roger Federer’s attempted comebacks that whilst his name returned to the scoreboard, the player never truly made it back to the court.
Nadal is 37-years-old and says 2024 will be his final season regardless of what happens, so he is understandably trying to dampen expectations on what he can achieve. What he does expect, though, is to be competitive.
“I don’t know at what level I will be able to return, but I have never lost the dream,” he said. “I haven’t played for a year and for me, personal success, which is more powerful than general success, is to maintain the illusion of playing again.
“I sense that it will be difficult to regain a high level of tennis, but if I didn’t have the dream of being competitive again, I wouldn’t have done the work I have done these months and the effort that this entails after a very long career.”
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