It speaks for itself, the picture. Rafael Nadal walks slowly toward the tunnel leading to the changing rooms while carrying a backpack on his shoulder. The stamp appears after his defeat in a Grand Slam was once again primarily caused by physical issues.
This time, the hip kept him from giving Mackenzie McDonald his all-out effort. When discomfort surfaced in the second set, the defending champion and top seed resisted the urge to give up. And in the second round of the Australian Open, he was defeated by the American by scores of 6-4, 6-4, and 7-5.
After the game, Nadal expressed his disappointment, sadness, and exhaustion in the press room. “I assume that from this point forward, when things develop, the right choices will be taken because I want to keep playing tennis. Having stated that, please don’t assume that I wish to turn around; this is not the case, but I don’t feel well right now.” The 36-year-old Spaniard spoke frankly about a predicament that was becoming more frequent.
He has experienced substantial physical discomfort during the last three Grand Slams, which has required a lengthy recuperation period. The 22-time Grand Slam champion remembered, “It is apparent that it is again the case that I have not been able to finish any of the last three Grand Slams in excellent condition: two abdominal tears, here I am unsure of what is happening with the hip.
Bartoli considers Rafa Nadal.
The tennis expert Marion Bartoli was inevitably questioned about Rafael Nadal‘s fresh injury following his loss in the Open’s second round this Wednesday on the RMC Sport program, the Super Moscato Show.
Australia. “He is not lying, but I believe he has an objective that he has set for himself: to compete in one final Roland-Garros. Nobody anticipated he would win the Roland-Garros he won in 2022, his previous year of competition. He reportedly had a terrible foot and could not walk.
(…) He has the recipe and the secret formula to be ready on this surface, even if it breaks everywhere and is challenging. If you don’t know how to be prepared, you won’t win Roland-Garros fourteen times. I believe he will impose this final deadline.
Rafael Nadal can actually begin to think about the alternatives if he truly believes that his current strategy is failing. “He can decide which match to play last, where to play last, and how to plan his retirement so that it resembles Roger Federer‘s jubilee,” remarked Marion Bartoli of Rafael Nadal.