Rafael Nadal news: Tennis great believes Spaniard pushed his body too much after Mexican Open

Lucy Roberts
Rafael Nadal ina ction

Rafael Nadal announced he would be unable to play at the Miami Open a day after he competed in the final of the BNP Paribas Open when he was beaten by Taylor Fritz due to a rib injury he picked up during his semi final tie with Carlos Alcaraz, and tennis legend Mats Wilander believes he pushed his body too much.

The Australian Open champion is now out of action for four to six weeks and it could be a doubt whether he’ll be ready and available for the French Open in May.

Wilander believes Nadal should have taken a month break after he won the Mexican Open but he also conceded that’s not the 21 time Grand Slam winner’s style.

“In a perfect world I would have thought that after he won the tournament in Acapulco, Mexico playing as well as he did, beating Medvedev again in two sets, beating Cameron Norrie in the finals in two sets, I was 100% sure that he was not going to go and play in Indian Wells or Miami,” the 57-year-old told Eurosport.

“I thought that he would take a month off from tournaments and then go to his normal schedule which is play the clay courts, I think maybe he pushed his body a little bit too much.

“But with Rafa Nadal he loves tennis and competing so much that when he’s feeling good he’s going to go out there and he’s going to run as hard as he can.”

The 13 time French Open winner is the only player in history to have won 21 Grand Slam titles, but the road to success hasn’t been easy given Nadal’s style is to carry on playing until he breaks.

“People are saying Rafa Nadal will not last a long time because of injuries, I’ve always said kind of the opposite,” the three time Australian Open champion added.

“Rafa Nadal will last until he gets injured and then he will go home and he will do rehab and then he will play again and he will push himself so hard physically and mentally and emotionally that he will get injured again and then he will go home, he will rehab and he will start again.

“This is his career and it’s not easy, he keeps saying that himself but he’s had a pretty decent career and he’s the best player of all time on paper for the men so I think that maybe what he’s done is actually better than if you play for 18 years in a row and never take a break.”

Nadal is set to miss out on the Monte Carlo Masters and the Barcelona Open but he could return for the Madrid Open which gets underway from May 2.

Rafael Nadal celebrates
Rafael Nadal has won 62 clay court titles, a record that is unlikely to be broken any time soon and of course he is incredibly likely to add to that tally before hanging up his racket.