Red light at Nadal ‘s traffic light

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Is it the end? Rafael Nadal says no, that he tries to “look to the future while maintaining the illusion”, but the contradictions in his public message are now undeniable. So much so, that what the Nadal traffic light shows at this point is no longer a yellow light, but a powerful red light.


“My body won’t let me”, says Nadal when he explains why he will not play next week in Monte Carlo, a tournament he won eleven times and that was one of his moments of great joy in the year, within those weeks that almost always culminated in lifting the trophy at Roland Garros.


If his body does not allow him to compete for his twelfth trophy at the Monte Carlo Country Club, it is logical to think that the Spaniard has a physical problem. The surprise comes when CLAY talks to those close to Nadal and the answer is that this interpretation is not necessarily correct.


The paradox is that Nadal shaped a unique career riding on a mentality, a game and a superior physique, despite a succession of injuries, but does not find how to close that career in the way it deserves, because it is precisely the body that betrays him.


“My body simply won’t let me. And although I continue to do my best every day with the illusion of being able to compete in tournaments that have been very important to me, the reality is that today I can’t,” says Nadal in a section of his message on social networks.

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That message is accompanied by a video in which he is seen hitting his forehand and backhand with power and fluidity. What is the (new?) problem then?


The truth is that the “as of today” has been going on for months now and leads to very reasonable doubts about the former world number one being able to compete again. Doubts based on the facts – he played just one tournament in 15 months – and on the tone of this latest message.


“I have nothing left but to accept the situation and try to look to the immediate future keeping the illusion and the desire to give myself a chance for things to get better.”


A chance: that’s all Nadal is asking for when he is only two months away from his 38th birthday. And, for now, he doesn’t even have that.

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