Rafael Nadal Pauses His Career With The Hope Of Ending It On His Own Terms - UBITENNIS
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Rafael Nadal Pauses His Career With The Hope Of Ending It On His Own Terms



Nadal RG 2022 by Night (foto @RolandGarros)

The world of tennis knew what was coming on Thursday afternoon when 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal held a press conference at his academy. 


Four months have passed since the Spaniard last played a competitive match due to a hip injury that originally had a prognosis of 6-8 weeks of recovery. However, the weeks turned into months and still, he is nowhere near to returning to the Tour. Resulting in his withdrawal from the French Open this year after 18 consecutive appearances. 

“It is not a decision that I make, but a decision that my body makes,” Nadal told reporters on Thursday. 
“I have no intention of continuing to play for the next few months. In recent years, although the results have been of my first level, my day-to-day life has been at a very low level. Although victories remain abroad At the level of daily work, the years after the pandemic have been very difficult.”
“They have been difficult years although the victories mask it. I make a point and part. At this point, without being prepared to be able to compete at the level I need. I have to put a point and aside to my sports career. I am going to try to regenerate my body. I’m not going to set a return date. When I’m ready, I’ll try to be there.

The most sobering thing about Nadal’s latest press conference wasn’t anything to do with the upcoming major tournament at Roland Garros. It was the first time he has spoken so candidly about ending his record-breaking career for good with 2024 likely to be when he does so. Another reminder that even the immortals of tennis have an expiration date. 

“I don’t like to predict the future so I’m going to follow my feelings and what I think I should do for my body and my own happiness,” Nadal explains. “Next year will probably be my last year on the pro tour. It’s the idea though I can’t say 100 per cent because you never know what can happen but my idea is to try to try and say goodbye to all the important tournaments for me in my career.”

Introduced to tennis by his uncle Toni as a child, Nadal blossomed and excelled at a young age. He was just 15 when he made his ATP debut at the 2002 Mallorca Open. The following year he cracked the top 100 for the first time before claiming his maiden Tour trophy at the 2004 Orange Prokom Open in Poland.  

The early success paved the way for Nadal to establish himself as statistically one of the most successful players in the history of the sport. His current ATP title tally of 92 is a benchmark that has only been surpassed by four other players in the Open Era. He has spent 910 consecutive weeks in the world’s top 10 which is a record and earned more than $134M in prize money. 

Undoubtedly it is the clay of Roland Garros where Nadal is known for his greatest achievement. Out of 115 matches played, he has only been beaten twice by Novak Djokovic in 2015 and 2021, as well as once by Robin Soderling in 2009. He has won the La Coupe des Mousquetaires trophy an incredible 14 times. His dominance was recognised by officials in 2021 when a statue was built in his honour which is a rare achievement for an active player. 

“Without a doubt the tournament is going to keep being the best event in the world of clay,” Nadal commented on his beloved French Open. “And there’s going to be one Roland Garros champion, it’s not going to me, it’s going to be another one. And that’s life.
“The tournament is going to be for sure a big success without me. Players stay for a while and they leave, tournaments stay forever.”

Alongside the success, there have also been challenges for the 36-year-old who has contended with various injury setbacks. During his 20-year career, he has missed 11 Grand Slam events and withdrew from another five due to a physical issue. He has suffered from issues related to his back, wrist, abdominal, and hamstring. He also lives with a long-term foot condition called Mueller-Weiss syndrome. According to the sports newspaper Marca, since 2003 he has experienced some form of injury issue during 14 separate seasons. 

Yet like others such as Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, such adversity only spurred Nadal on to work harder and improve his game further. However, it was never going to last forever, just ask Federer who played the Spaniard 40 times on the Tour. With the Swiss maestro, it was a knee injury that closed the curtain on his career and prevented him from ending it how he wanted to. Something Nadal hopes will not be the case for him.

“I would like to give myself the option of competing on a tennis court, feeling like a good-level player and fighting to win matches. I would like to fight to win the big tournaments. Whether that is a viable reality or not we will see.” Nadal replied when asked how he hopes to end his career. 

Now it is just a waiting game to see when Nadal will return to the Tour with his eyes set on a possible return to action later this year at the Davis Cup. There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding him at present but one certain thing is that his career is coming to an end and so is an era of men’s tennis. 


Alexander Zverev Deserves More Respect According To Boris Becker

According to Boris Becker, Alexander Zverev deserves more respect from tennis journalists.



Alexander Zverev (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

Boris Becker has claimed that Alexander Zverev deserves more respect despite Zverev failing to live up to his potential at Grand Slams.


Zverev has only reached one Grand Slam final in his career despite being a regular inside the world’s top ten as well as performing at regular ATP events.

This season Zverev played a limited schedule after recovering from an ankle injury but still managed to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals.

However most critics have been loud when judging Zverev’s career as it was looking likely that he would be a regular Grand Slam champion.

The German has failed to live up to expectations but former Grand Slam champion Boris Becker believes Zverev deserves more respect.

Speaking to Eurosport Becker also said that Zverev’s father being the coach is a more than successful approach when it comes to the former US Open finalist’s career, “In my opinion, he doesn’t get enough respect from the tennis experts internationally,” Becker explained.

“They’re all talking about the young three or four, but don’t give Zverev, Medvedev or Rublev enough respect. He’s playing with his fist in his pocket a little bit, wants everyone show that he is not a thing of the past, but that his best time is yet to come.

“Surely his father knows best what is good for his son, but if you look into the box at the competition, you can also see changes.”

Becker has followed Zverev for most of his career so knows that the best is yet to come from the German.

Alexander Zverev will look to prove himself next season when he starts his 2024 season when he represents Germany at the United Cup.

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Juan Carlos Ferrero Analyses Key Areas For Carlos Alcaraz’s Development

Juan Carlos Ferrero has outlined the next steps in Carlos Alcaraz’s development.



(@tennisnewsbrazil - Twitter)

Carlos Alcaraz’s coach, Juan Carlos Ferrero has analysed the key areas for the Spaniard’s development heading into the 2024 season.


The former world number one’s season has come to an end after a successful year which saw him win the Wimbledon title as well as winning two Masters 1000 titles.

Alcaraz capped off an incredible season by reaching the semi-finals at the Nitto ATP Finals, where he lost to Novak Djokovic.

However there is a long way for the Spaniard to go if he wants to consistently go toe-to-toe with Novak Djokovic.

Speaking to Marca Alcaraz’s coach Juan Carlos Ferrero spoke about the Spaniard’s development and said that Alcaraz is too emotional, “Be more regular in games, not open doors. Sometimes there are mistakes and it is something that we have to improve a lot,” Ferrero commented.

“Although it is true that he opens doors, he always competes well and at the highest level. He knows it, the other day he already said that Novak doesn’t give you one. He has to improve his decision making and he will achieve that with experience. Carlos is very emotional and that sometimes helps him and other times not so much.”

It’s clear Alcaraz’s high-quality is there but to consistently do it against Djokovic is another task altogether as the Spaniard looks to go from strength-to strength next season.

One area that is clearly a priority for Alcaraz is physical conditioning especially considering what happened against Djokovic at Roland Garros earlier in the season.

Ferrero said that will be a clear focus heading into 2024 but couldn’t guarantee that Alcaraz will play a tournament before the Australian Open, “Because of the year and the fatigue he has been in, what he needs is rest and disconnecting for 8-10 days with his friends,” Ferrero stated.

“From there, the thinking must go back to working really hard, strong and well to start very strongly in Australia. One can never be sure of that. Sometimes you play a tournament and it doesn’t go well, you left home too early. There are many ways of thinking.

“This year we haven’t played Australia and he finishes number two. That means there is no urgency to play a tournament early. Carlos is a player who enters competition quickly, you don’t usually see him without rhythm.

“Although it is true that he becomes more dangerous from the round of 16, from the quarter-finals. I am confident that the two exhibition matches and the training sessions will help us play a good tournament.”

Alcaraz will be looking to play the Australian Open which starts on the 15th of January after the Spaniard missed last year’s tournament due to a leg injury.

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Australian Open Chief Confident Nadal Will Play But Kyrgios’ Participation Uncertain



Nadal RG 2022 by Night (foto @RolandGarros)

The tournament director of the Australian Open says he is ‘certain’ that Rafael Nadal will play at the Grand Slam even though the Spaniard has yet to outline his comeback plans. 


Craig Tiley told reporters in Melbourne on Thursday he hopes to receive some clarity over Nadal’s intentions in the next couple of weeks but is confident he will play. However, the tennis official had previously claimed in October that the former world No.1 had already committed to play in the event before his team denied that statement.  

Nadal, who has won 22 Grand Slam titles, hasn’t played a Tour match since his second round defeat at the Australian Open in January due to a hip injury. He was originally expecting to take an eight-week break but the recovery didn’t go to plan and he ended up having surgery. In May he confirmed that he will take an extended break from the sport to heal his body and admitted that retirement next year is a possibility.

“Rafa has been training, I follow him closely, probably every day because he’s a massive drawcard for us,” the Reuters News Agency quoted Tiley as saying. 
“He wants to play, he’s obviously planning on playing. It all depends on how he pulls up.
“Hopefully in the next week or the next two weeks, we get some specific confirmation of that. I’m certain Rafa will be here because he’s not going to want to miss the opportunity to repeat what he did a couple of years ago.”

Earlier this month Nadal confirmed that he intends to return to the Tour but admits that he will continue to experience a degree of pain. Although he has yet to give any information about which tournament he will begin his comeback at. The 2024 season begins during the first week of January.

“I’m well, training, and happy. I’m at a good stage of my life,” atptour.com quoted Nadal as telling reporters in Barcelona.
“Until now I didn’t know if I would play tennis again someday, and now I genuinely believe I will. I’m still not ready to say when, but I’m able to train increasingly longer, and the progress is good.’

Will Kyrgios play?

Another player Tiley is eager to welcome back is home player and former Wimbledon Finalist Nick Kyrgios who has only played one Tour-level match this season due to injury. He underwent knee surgery in January and then tore a ligament in his wrist during the summer. As a result, the Australian currently doesn’t have an ATP ranking due to his inactivity. 

“We have spoken to Nick, and he obviously wants to do the best he possibly can to give him the best chance to play in January,” Tiley said of Kyrgios.
“Whether he’s playing, whether he’s doing something else, Nick will be here in January and to get him to play will be great. But we’ve got to take it as it comes and he’s got to make sure he takes care of his health …” 

Kyrgios recently worked as an analyst for the Tennis Channel during this year’s ATP Finals in Turin and gave a brief update on his ongoing recovery during a segment. 

“After last year, I had such a great year, and I’m so hungry to get back out there,” the 2022 Wimbledon finalist commented.
“So I’m doing everything I can to get back out there. Obviously, you know how injuries are every day, just doing the rehab, doing the gym work.”

The Australian Open will begin on Sunday 14th January. Novak Djokovic and Aryna Sabalenka are the defending champions. 

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