Rafael Nadal ‘not feeling great’, but ‘doing everything possible to be ready’ for Australian Open
Rafael Nadal’s bid for a record 21st Grand Slam title is in doubt due to a back injury, but the Spaniard remains determined to start this year’s Australian Open against Serbia’s Laslo Djere in the first round on Tuesday.
But the 34-year-old, who was forced to withdraw from Spain’s ATP Cup matches this week, is still struggling with the issue in his lower back.
Nadal, who equalled Roger Federer’s haul of 20 major titles at the French Open last year, said: “Well, I don’t feel great obviously because if not I would be playing at the ATP Cup.
“It’s true that for the last 15 days I have been suffering with the back. So here we are.
“I tried a little bit today to serve again. Well, I’m doing everything possible to be ready for it. That’s the only thing that I can say. Today I am still hoping to keep improving and hope to be ready for it.
“I think about that we are on Sunday. I have tomorrow and then play Tuesday, no? No, I don’t think about not playing.
Hi all, we have decided with #TeamSpain and my team, to not play today the first match of the @ATPCup here in #Melbourne since I have a stiff low back. Hopefully I’ll be better for Thursday. We have a strong team, all the to @pablocarreno91 @BautistaAgut & @M_Granollers #vamos 🇪🇸
— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) February 2, 2021
“The thing is about in which condition I’m going to start the tournament. I have been practicing great, I think, for lot of weeks, and I’m disappointed about what happened the last couple of weeks, of course.
“The whole positive feelings that I had one, two weeks ago, now disappeared a little bit, of course, because I was not able to practice the right way the last week and a half.
“At the same time I’m still having not the best feeling possible on the back. But I am practicing again.
“I did a lot of things to recover. It’s not serious, but the muscle is still tight, so it’s difficult to play with freedom of movement today.
“Let’s hope the situation keeps improving. I hope to be ready, that’s all. I know sometimes things change quick. I’m going to keep staying positive and keep doing everything I can.
“Let’s see. I can’t say more today because it’s not an important injury but it’s a thing that stays here for a lot of days. Of course, it worries me a little bit.”
World No 1 and tournament favourite Novak Djokovic has no such problems as he begins his bid for a ninth title against France’s Jeremy Chardy.
“I have been feeling more comfortable each year that I’ve been coming back,” he said. “The more you win, obviously, the more confidence you have. It just feels right.”
Novak Djokovic dethrones Rafael Nadal to reach French Open final
Nadal suffered just his third loss at the French Open, with Djokovic setting up a final against Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Phenomenal Novak Djokovic pulls off sensational win to end Rafael Nadal’s French Open reign
Novak Djokovic ended Rafael Nadal’s reign as champion.
‘It was nerve-racking, it was so intense’ – Stefanos Tsitsipas after battling past Alexander Zverev
Stefanos Tsitsipas prevailed in five sets against Alexander Zverev.
‘I’m just going to have fun,’ says Barbora Krejcikova as she looks to win a French Open double
Krejcikova will feature in singles and doubles finals.
‘There is a real buzz of anticipation,’ says Tim Henman ahead of Wimbledon return
The 2020 Championships were cancelled due to Covid-19.
Johanna Konta edges closer to ending her title drought after reaching Viking Open semi-finals
Johanna Konta eyes first WTA Tour title since 2017.
Roger Federer ‘pretty positive about his chances’ as he looks to step up a gear on grass
“I’ve only seen improvement, no setbacks,” says Roger Federer.
2021 French Open women’s final info, form, betting and preview: Barbora Krejcikova-Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
All the info ahead of the 2021 French Open women’s final.
Maria Sakkari laments ‘rookie mistake’ during French Open semi-final, but vows to ‘learn from it’
“Today’s loss hurts a lot because I was so close,” says Sakkari.
Boris Becker’s tip to Novak Djokovic ahead of Rafael Nadal clash: ‘Go hard at the Spaniard’s forehand’
Boris Becker shares thoughts on Novak Djokovic-Rafael Nadal semi-final.