‘Rafael Nadal will have a great tournament’, says ATP ace

Rafael Nadal’s conditions are a big question mark on the eve of the Australian Open, which will start on Monday 16 January in Melbourne Park. The Spanish phenomenon left everyone speechless in the first part of last season, conquering the Australian Open and Roland Garros despite the tremendous pain in his foot. The former world number 1 also expressed great tennis on the grass at Wimbledon, but a torn abs forced him to withdraw on the eve of the semifinal against Nick Kyrgios. That injury turned out to be more serious than expected and affected his performance in the second half of the year. The 36-year-old from Manacor never found his best condition, leaving the scene prematurely both at the US Open and at the ATP Finals in Turin. The new season didn’t start very well for Rafa, defeated in comeback by Cameron Norrie and Alex de Minaur in the first edition of the United Cup. The Iberian did not have an easy draw at the Australian Open, given that his first hurdle will be the formidable Jack Draper.

Zverev on Rafa Nadal

The beginning of the season is the ideal time to try to guess what can happen throughout the year. Many of these predictions appear some time later to punish more than one: the newspaper library does not forget, but many tennis players still maintain that instinct to play to know the future. The one who did not think twice this year was Alexander Zverev: the German predicted a withdrawal of Rafael Nadal in 2023 in statements to Eurosport. “Unfortunately, I think Rafa will retire at Roland Garros. I don’t want it to happen, but I think he will have a great tournament, potentially win it and say goodbye.” Curious statements that we will have to review in several months. Patrick McEnroe believes that the Spaniard is not entirely truthful about his tennis ambitions, given his immense love for winning. “I think 24, 25 is possible (for Novak Djokovic). But I also think that people underestimate, because of how great these guys are — it’s not easy. It’s not as easy as they’ve made it look,” ESPN analyst Patrick McEnroe said on Wednesday on a conference call with the media. “The other X factor is will Novak be allowed into the U.S.?” McEnroe asked. “At the moment he’s not. That’s cost him a couple opportunities already [at majors], and it may cost him another couple,” he added.