Rafael Nadal quit the 2016 ATP season early due to a recurring wrist injury, which has affected his performance in recent years. In a new interview, the Spanish pro stated that he is recovering nicely from the injury and is 100% “mentally” but said that he still needs the extended rest for it to fully recover.
“Mentally, I am doing well. The problem is that from when I got injured in Madrid, I only played the US Open feeling less pain, and I have been playing with this problem for too many months,” Nadal stated.
“And the wrist is so important for my game, without being able to fully hit forehand everything is tougher. It was the moment to take a decision, I will rest for some days in order to be able to practice normally.”
Nadal also talked about his long layoff before playing in the 2016 Rio Olympics and that affected his style of play.
“Before playing Olympics I did not practice for two months and a half, It was a risk to play there, but it was the Olympics, a unique experience that I enjoyed so much. The injury before Olympics did not get worse, things went well, it was not so normal, but with the fact of not being able to train for so long, you can have other issues, from nothing I had other issues on the opposite side of the hand and from there I suffered.”
Nadal should have rested earlier?
There are criticisms of Nadal for insisting on playing at the Rio and tournaments after because he has not recovered fully yet. Even Toni Nadal, his uncle and long-time trainer, thought it was a bad idea for Rafa to be playing many tournaments while he is still recovering from the injuries.
Last week, Nadal announced that he will miss the rest of the 2016 season, including the season finale for the top eight players in the world.
“It is no secret that I arrived at the Olympic Games short of preparation and not fully recovered, but the goal was to compete and win a medal for Spain. This forced recovery has caused me pain since then and now I am forced to stop and start preparing the 2017 season,” Nadal stated in a Facebook post.
“I am very saddened for not being able to play next week in Basel since I have a great memory of the tournament and the final played against Roger Federer last year. I won’t be able to compete either in Paris-Bercy, where the crowds and the FFT staff have always treated me so well. Now it is time to rest and start preparing intensively the 2017 season.”
Rafael Nadal along with rival Roger Federer are both injured at this point of the 2016 season, but both are expected to recover when the first Grand Slam tournament of next year, the 2016 Australian Open, starts in January 2017.
Photo courtesy: Twitter/@rogerfederer