Latest Nadal news: in good spirits, training and with the Davis Cup in Málaga as a goal
NEW YORK – What’s happening in Rafael Nadal’s life: is he returning to tennis, is he not returning, is he turning to family life for good? The latest Nadal news gives a clear answer: the former world number one is doing everything to return to the tour. Not only that: to come back competitive and winning. And there is someone who knows quite a lot about these plans.
Nadal’s mobile phone rings. On the other end, David Ferrer, friend, former rival and now captain of the Spanish Davis Cup team.
– Hi, Rafa, how are you, how are you doing with your injury?
– Hey, Ferreti! How’s your son Leo?
The details of the conversation are provided by Ferrer himself in a one-on-one with CLAY in New York. the latest news Nadal is that he continues to be amazed by the generosity of Nadal, who, before going into detail about the injury that temporarily sidelined him from tennis, worries about his friend and asks him about his five-year-old son. A conversation between colleagues, after all, Nadal is a recent and first-time father.
According to sources consulted by CLAY, Nadal is in good spirits and intensifying his training for his goal of returning to tennis. In May he announced that he was giving his body a rest to see if it would regenerate, if some of the aches and injuries that were tormenting him would fade away, or at least ease up.
“Rafa, if he comes back, it’s to win, he would never come back to walk around. He is someone so competitive that, if he comes back, it is because he is well and because he is confident,” explains Ferrer, who became world number three and a finalist at Roland Garros. He retired in 2019 and today, at 41, he looks younger than in his playing years.
Ferrer guarantees that Nadal, 37 and 139th in the world ranking, is training at a good level.
“His is not a tennis problem. He touches the ball and the ball flies with the same speed and power as before. It’s a problem of him being able to maintain physical regularity and not get injured”.
The information comes to Ferrer not only from Nadal himself, but also from Carlos Costa, manager of the 14-time Roland Garros champion, and Marc Lopez, one of his coaches.
“I also talk a lot with his coach Marc Lopez, because he was at my house for four days a week ago. And when I talk to Rafael and Carlos Costa they also tell me: the thing is that Rafa does not get injured”.
Nadal himself said it at the press conference on 18 May this year in Manacor, when he dramatically announced the break: “I don’t deserve to finish like this. I think I have worked hard throughout my career so that my end would not be here, in a press conference”.
Ferrer is clear that this will not be the end, because Nadal is preparing something different.
“Rafa always played with some pain, like everyone else, but if he does not have something that prevents him from entering the court…. Because it’s not that you retire, you get retired, reality retires you: you can play a good match, but not two, because the body doesn’t help anymore. And I don’t think that’s the case with Rafa, he’s still fine. His problem is that, having had operations and being broken, it’s not the same as facing physical fatigue: he has to stop completely”.
Is he looking to give his body the rest it has never given him in his whole life?
“Yes, and play what’s important.”
Roland Garros, of course.
“Yes, but he wants to play the Davis Cup final this year. First we have to qualify, of course, but for me it would be incredible. What I want to know is how he is, because he is a friend of mine. And then comes the Davis Cup.”
Nadal has the Davis Cup finals, to be played from 21 to 26 November in Malaga, as his first big goal.
“He was the one who once told me ‘my goal is to have a goal, to reach the Davis Cup at the end of the year if you qualify’. And he is in that process. And be careful, my goal is not to convince him, he is the one who told me that”.
The famous win-win, because whatever is good for Nadal will be good for the captain of the Davis Cup, the Spanish team and the final itself, which would become the centre of world attention thanks to the return of Nadal to tennis: “Hopefully, I would like it to be at the end of the year, because I want the best for Rafa on a personal level. And if he comes it’s because he’s well, because he’s competitive”.
Juan Mónaco, one of Nadal’s best friends, recently told CLAY that, if the former number one returns in form and starts winning, he is unlikely to follow through with the idea of quitting tennis in 2024. Ferrer sees things differently.
“I don’t know, I don’t know…. I think that if Rafa wins Roland Garros 2024, he would still make the decision. It would be the perfect moment.”
Would it be the end?
“Knowing Rafa, he’s going to want to finish like a great, like what he is. Win Roland Garros. And then we would have to see how many Djokovic wins…”.
Stop. Could a winning Nadal really say goodbye, or would the motivation of the fight to be the owner of the most Grand Slam titles, which today leads Novak Djokovic by 23 to 22 over Nadal, weigh more heavily?
“It’s definitely a motivation. They’ve both fed off each other. If Rafa looks competitive, he’s going to want to at least match Djokovic.” This is the latest Nadal news told by David Ferrer to CLAY.