Sometimes I wish I had better things to write about, like the return of Rafael Nadal to the tour. Unfortunately, I do not bring such news from the Rafael Nadal camp. In a recent interview with the Daily Mail, Nadal says he is unsure if he will be making an appearance in 2013 Australian Open, saying he’s still injured.
Rafael Nadal trying not to think about anything but recovery
Nadal hasn’t been on a tennis court competitively since he had that shock loss to Rosol at Wimbledon earlier this year, nor has he spent much time practicing his tennis. The Spaniard hasn’t even picked up his tennis racquet since that loss, “I’m not in any state to go on court at the moment. I haven’t touched a racket but I am working hard every day.” He told French reporters at L’Equipe.
He has, however, been working his Spanish buns off in the rehabilitation of the busted patella he has in his right knee, “All that is in my mind is to keep working hard to come back, I cannot think about the future because it’s not like if you break your arm and you know you will have a few weeks like this, then a few weeks like that and then you are back. This is a day-by-day thing, I have checks every week to see how I’m improving. I can’t predict what will happen.” So really, even Rafa himself doesn’t really know what’s to come of his knees.
Rafael Nadal unsure of 2013 Australian Open appearance
Even after an epic 2012 Australian Open final where he lost to Djokovic, Nadal is, at the moment, unsure of his potential of going down under for a repeat road to the final, “‘I hope you see me in Australia, that is the biggest goal for me, to come back just before then in Qatar, but I cannot say for sure it is going to happen. The only thing is to recover well. I want to be 100 per cent when I come back. I don’t want to keep playing every day with doubts, not knowing if my knee is going to answer all the questions.”
The 2009 AO Champion, Rafael Nadal has not missed an Australian Open since 2007. His only absences were in 2006 and 2003. 2006 was missed due to a foot injury and in 2003, he simply wasn’t at that level yet (still playing the Challenger circuit). He also retired from his quarterfinal match against Andy Murray in 2010.
Rafael Nadal working harder than ever to get back to 100% health
Or is he? If you know anything about Nadal, you know he’s a big time golfer, hanging out with the likes of Fred Couples and Sergio Garcia. Each year he plays the BNP Paribas Open, he makes sure he gets a few rounds of golf during his visit to the California desert. Lately though, on his Facebook page, the Spaniard has been posting pictures of him playing golf and doing plenty of fishing.
I don’t doubt that he is rehabbing his knee, though I would think the rotation of the knees in the golf swing would irritate his injury. If Rafa has figured out a way to play golf without having the knees grind, then he’s surely onto something revolutionary. I’m sure that he’s out there on the links to try and get his mind off the injury.
The sad reality for Nadal is, his knees are finally giving away on him.
I believe it was Andre Agassi who said, “writing checks that his body can’t cash.” Referring to the style of play the Spaniard has. I agree with Agassi, it’s almost cringe-worthy to watch Nadal slide on hard courts and stopping and starting on a dime. I have personally slid a few times on hard courts when being stretched out wide, but that’s incredibly infrequent and that even made my knees sore. I could not imagine the toll that takes on the knees if I were to do that nearly every time I played tennis.
In all honesty, I do hope that Nadal recovers quickly, though at this point, I think he needs to make some career decisions quickly. Either play a little more passively and accept that he doesn’t need to retrieve every single ball that comes his way (No matter what Toni says!), or call it a career. From what I hear, this type of injury is very hard to recovery from, not to mention the emotional toll this is taking on Nadal.