Topic: Does Nadal's Future Look Bleak?

Pessimistic? Maybe. But the man has been out for 6 months with a knee injury, with a first round Wimbledon upset against Rosol being his last competitive memory, hardly helpful in the big scheme of things. And now, he's primed to miss the Aussie Open with a stomach bug/virus of some sort. Maybe all those years of aggressive baseline tennis has taken a toll on his knees?

I remember sometime this year in one of those hundred-something pages we've all filled with tennis-y things, we made bold predictions for reasons I can't recall. One of mine was that Nadal would do the Bjorn Borg and drop from competitive tennis at the age of 26. Of course, I wasn't being even remotely serious.

Although to assume that would safely classify as a drastic overreaction, does anyone think Nadal can return from his extended hiatus to reach the heights that allowed him to win 11 Grand Slams at the tender age of 26?

Re: Does Nadal's Future Look Bleak?

That's a good issue you mention here Crosscourt smile

A stomach virus that kicks you out for a month of competition? Not so sure bout that really. I mean it's possible but not very likely. It's probably that he doesn't feel ready to compete with the top guys. Remember the last time he went 2 months out of competition after his French open loss to Robin Soderling? He did not play his best until Monte Carlo 2009, which means he played an average level (but still enough to be in the top 10 of course) for 8 months... Now he hasn't played for 6 months... I don't think he can reach his best when he returns. It will take him a few months at least. Or a few years, who knows...

He can find his best back at the age of 26, that's almost sure. But he has to do it quickly. If he can't find his tennis this year, it will be over.

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Re: Does Nadal's Future Look Bleak?

Nadal has proven before he can come back and return to playing great tennis after injury. However, this time around he has everyone puzzled. For me and many others, things just don't add up this time around. I really can't see a reason that he would hold out here unless his knee is still giving him troubles which could mean that his treatment is not going quite as planned. I would say there's a lot that his camp is probably not going to reveal, and in a few months we will probably learn more about the extent of his injury. Maybe I'm reading too far into it and see things that aren't there. I guess that is easy to do when you really don't have all the information on the table.

Re: Does Nadal's Future Look Bleak?

Obviously the knees are an ongoing problem.  I said a couple of years ago that Rafa should quit playing on hard courts altogether, so if this is a virus, it's a blessing IMHO.  As long as Rafa has 4 weeks to prepare for Monte Carlo, then God is in His heaven and all's right with the world.

Re: Does Nadal's Future Look Bleak?

All good points on this topic. If Rafa is serious about playing competitively then I see him reducing the number of tourneys he plays. And Don is correct, playing hard courts will not help those knees. Love or hate Rafa, I am sure we would all like to see him return soon.

As for this virus, well I am not convinced this is the case, which is a concern.

Re: Does Nadal's Future Look Bleak?

Hopefully the virus is imaginary and it's just a matter of trying to preserve the knees.

Re: Does Nadal's Future Look Bleak?

He'll be O.K. Remember, we've been here before.

In 2009 Nadal was injured and missed Wimbledon. Nadal went on to win the U.S. Open and the french twice. He'll rise again,

Re: Does Nadal's Future Look Bleak?

I agree.  No doubt in my mind that when Rafa comes back, he'll be immediately back at a Top 4 level.  I think Arnaud's idea that it will take Rafa awhile to become competitive is off the mark.  If Rafa's physically anywhere near 100%, he will once again dominate the European clay circuit.  Bank it.  But how many hard court matches do those knees have left in them?  I wonder, & it's a scary thought.

It's pretty clear that Rafa has already played a career's worth of matches.  In order to prolong this already long career, he needs to avoid hard courts.  If he does, he has a shot at becoming #2 on the list behind the Great Federer.  In any event, when he does retire he's obviously going to be in the Top 10 in matches played in the modern era, even with all his injuries and assuming early retirement.  Considering the ridiculous physicality of his strokes and running style, that is remarkable.

Last edited by Don--2013-Yoda-Cup-Guru (Feb. 1, 2015 2:45pm)

Re: Does Nadal's Future Look Bleak?

Yes, that can only be the case if he ONLY plays on clay from now on. No hard courts at all is what he needs. Otherwise, his career will surely come to an abrupt end. he should play the South American swing, skip Indian Wells and Miami and prepare himself for the European clay court season, win all the titles on clay, try grass to see what his knees say and then go back to the clay courts and finish in Hamburg or Kitzbuhel. American hard courts will kill him, so will indoors tournaments. Then he could try the Aussie Open in 2014 if his knees are okay.

He would stay to a decent top10 and probably top5 ranking for sure with that programm if he is fit.

Question is: can he close to 100% physically in shape?

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Re: Does Nadal's Future Look Bleak?

I have never seen Rafa when he was out of shape.  I do not believe he has ever been out of condition in his life.  The Nadals know how to train around injuries.  They're the pros at it, actually.

And you have the perfect Rx for Rafa:  South America, Euro clay, grass, home.  Perfect.  Should be enough to be #4 or #5.  If he would do that for a couple of years and then reassess, he could wind up playing 900 matches.

Last edited by Don---2013-Yoda-Cup-Guru (Jan. 12, 2013 11:17am)

Re: Does Nadal's Future Look Bleak?

Yep, and it is his biggest problem right now. Playing with so much pain? Is it worth it after such a long and successful career? Destroying his knees? He must think about it. Glory is a thing but health is another one.

2016: Rey Saber, Lord Vader, Supreme Jedi, Yoda Crew player of the year
2014: Lord Vader, King Droid, Naboo Champion, Yoda Crew player of the year
2013: Yoda Cup Wimbledon champion, Yoda Cup Guru Runner-up
2012: Yoda Cup Wimbledon champion

Re: Does Nadal's Future Look Bleak?

To me, staying in shape by training around injuries is very smart, but the desire to keep bringing Rafa back to hard courts to keep him ranked at the very top has proven disastrous and wrong headed.

To be honest, I think it was a business decision.  He makes so many million Euros a year being at the top, it's nearly impossible to resist.  In this case, greed backfires.  They should be content with King of Clay for years to come.

Last edited by Don---2013-Yoda-Cup-Guru (Jan. 12, 2013 11:22am)

Re: Does Nadal's Future Look Bleak?

I think he is probably comparing the damage to his body from tennis versus open water fishing and golf.  LOL  Even though that sounds like a adolescent comment, he is such a supreme competitor that he might decide if he cannot contend for the #1 ranking, he would rather stay in the controlled and comfortable confines of his family and Mallorca.

Re: Does Nadal's Future Look Bleak?

I had forgotten about this very interesting thread.  Thanks for bringing it back, vegas.  Rafa's future is still a very big question mark.  Those knees are not good.