‘Rafael Nadal will without a doubt play next season if he avoids injuries’ – former world No 3

Ewan West
Rafael Nadal Brisbane 2024
Rafael Nadal waves in Brisbane

David Ferrer has proclaimed that his legendary compatriot Rafael Nadal will “without a doubt” continue playing into the 2025 season if he avoids injuries.

The former world No 3 is “convinced” Nadal will be “competitive” if he remains healthy and thinks the 37-year-old showcased a “very high level” in his comeback in Brisbane.

Nadal played his first tournament in almost a year at the Brisbane International last month, where he reached the quarter-finals. The Spaniard withdrew from the 2024 Australian Open due to a hip muscle issue that surfaced during his loss to Jordan Thompson in Brisbane.

Prior to Brisbane, Nadal had not played a singles match since losing to Mackenzie McDonald in the second round of the 2023 Australian Open, where he sustained a hip injury. The former world No 1 underwent arthroscopic surgery to treat the psoas muscle in his hip in June 2023.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion was due to make his return from his injury setback at the ATP 250 tournament in Doha last week, but he was forced to withdraw.

Nadal will next feature against Carlos Alcaraz in an exhibition match on March 3, before competing at the Indian Wells Masters, which will run from March 6-17.

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In an interview with Marca, Ferrer was asked if he thinks Nadal will continue playing next season if his injury does not return.

“Yes, without a doubt. Knowing Rafa a little or a lot, if he does not have physical injuries, I am convinced that he will be competitive,” the Spaniard declared.

“It was already shown in the first week of the year in Brisbane that he was at a very high level without barely competing. If he doesn’t have any injuries, he will be competitive and if he is competitive, he will continue for another year.”

Ferrer, who was beaten by Nadal in the 2013 French Open final, addressed whether the 14-time champion would be a favourite to win Roland Garros this year.

“Now it’s difficult to say because I haven’t seen him compete. If I watch him play for three weeks to see how he feels and his tennis level, I may have a different perception or I may adjust more to reality,” he assessed.

The 27-time ATP titlist also looked ahead to the ‘Netflix Slam’ exhibition between Nadal and Alcaraz, which he will commentate on with fellow former Spanish star Feliciano Lopez.

“I am going to comment with Feliciano Lopez. I’m glad they counted on me. I hope it will be a match of intensity, with good rhythm, that they play well,” Ferrer added.

“Knowing Rafa, I think he is going to care about that match, competing at the highest level because then comes Indian Wells. For him it is important to feel good in tennis and he is going to measure himself with nothing more and nothing less than Carlos Alcaraz.

“For Carlos, it is also important because he has not played much and it will serve him well for Indian Wells and Miami. As a spectator, I would pay a ticket to see it.”

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