‘Rafael Nadal has missed many Grand Slam tournaments with…’, says top coach

Novak Djokovic’s 2021 was almost perfect. The world number one won the first 3 Grand Slam titles of the year and saw the only two major setbacks at the Tokyo Olympics and the US Open. If in Japan it was the German Alexander Zverev who extinguished the hopes of a gold medal in the semifinals, at Flushing Meadows Nole was really one step away from the Calendar Grand Slam (a feat that never succeeded in the Open Era) and in New York he surrendered alone in the final defeated by Russian Daniil Medvedev. The latter, following the defeat earlier in the year in the Melbourne final, took a great revenge by beating the world number one in three sets. Novak seemed very shocked after that loss and the date of his return is still unknown. The Serbian preferred not to participate in the Indian Wells tournament while at the moment he is enrolled in the Masters 1000 in Paris Bercy. The latest indications from Australia worry the Serbian fans: the state of Victoria in Australia announced a few days ago the obligation to vaccinate all professional athletes who will set foot in their country, before November 26. Given his position on the mandatory vaccine, there is curiosity to know if Novak will participate in the event, also because at the moment nobody knows if Djokovic is already vaccinated or not. During a lengthy interview with Wide World of Sports, Tony Woodbridge spoke of Djokovic’s possible absence from Melbourne. In relation to this, Woodbridge stated: “I think with so much at stake for Novak, he will think it through and seriously. He currently has 20 Slams like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, but I think his goal is to widen gaps and distance the other two members of the Big Three.”

Nadal has had treacherous luck with injuries

Most tennis fans would agree that Rafael Nadal has had treacherous luck with injuries in his career. The Spaniard has had to withdraw from numerous Grand Slams. Talking in a podcast published by Spanish sports website Marca, Toni said, “When I saw that Rafael [at 23 or 24 years old] had already [won every] Grand Slam, I started to think that he could win a lot and that he could aspire to be one of the best”. Late, uncle Toni pointed out that according to the numbers, the best could either be Federer or Djokovic. “If you look at the numbers, the best is Federer or Djokovic. But Rafael has missed many Grand Slam tournaments with injuries and faced others while injured,” Toni concluded.