Rafael Nadal has had countless physical problems during his long career. Although he has had to withdraw from several tournaments, the Spaniard has shown a longevity that very few would have expected when he stepped on the circuit.
The former world number 1 left everyone speechless last year, winning the Australian Open and Roland Garros against all odds. Back after a 2021 with only seven tournaments played, the Mallorcan is back in fashion reiterating that he is a living legend of this sport.
The last few months have been quite difficult for Rafa, who has not been able to squeeze the best tennis out of him since the semifinal he reached at Wimbledon. The beginning of 2023 did not bring him luck, since the Iberian suffered a second degree injury in the ileo-psoas during the Australian Open.
The 22-time Grand Slam champion has already resigned from the ATP tournaments in Doha and Dubai, while his presence in Indian Wells and Miami remains uncertain. It is not unlikely that Nadal will opt to preserve his body for the clay court season.
Tennis legend Serena Williams’ former hitting partner Sascha Bajin recently explained why Rafael Nadal was forced to lose muscle early on to protect his knees. “Guys it’s simple. Muscle mass is weight. Every unnecessary pound you have to carry is multiplied as you slide into a ball on hard court.
Your knees (joints) generally absorb most of the impact. Especially the musculature of the upper body is unnecessary for tennis,” Bajin wrote. “A huge bicep, for example, is not really specific to tennis for me. And guys play 5 sets at Grand Slams and you know that doing ankle weights with just 1 pound on each leg makes a world of difference.”
Nadal has had countless physical problems
The ‘Big 3’ debate has long divided tennis fans, and Stan Wawrinka has now weighed in on the discussion.
“They are different personalities and players. If we’re just talking about the game, for me Roger Federer it’s really talent, ease and touch. Rafael Nadal it’s strength, power and Novak Djokovic is a bit of perfection,” the 2016 US Open winner said.
“It’s true that when you play Rafa in the Roland Garros final, for me it’s one of the most difficult challenges about what I’ve been able to experience in my career,” Wawrinka said. “For me, it was a chance to play against the greatest players in the history of tennis,” Stan Wawrinka said.
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