Uncle Toni still believes in Rafa Nadal’s comeback

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Rafael Nadal with his uncle Toni, who believes the tennis great will be fit for Roland Garros.
Rafael Nadal with his uncle Toni, who believes the tennis great will be fit for Roland Garros.

Rafael Nadal’s former coach and uncle, Toni Nadal, is confident despite another withdrawal that the Spanish tennis great will be able to return to action soon in preparation for the French Open. 

Toni told the Marca sports daily he believes Rafa will be able to play at the Barcelona and Madrid events which come ahead of Roland Garros where he’s won 14 of his 22 grand slam titles. 

“Rafa has problems with the serve. Apart from that he has no problems,” Toni Nadal said. 

He said this was also necessary because “playing a tournament in the build-up is important to have a good Roland Garros. Either you go there 100 per cent or you better not play.” 

The king of clay Nadal announced on Thursday on X that he was withdrawing from next week’s Monte Carlo Masters. 

“My body simply won’t allow me,” he said.

“And even if I am working hard & making the maximum effort every day with all the will to play and compete again at tournaments that have been very important for me, the truth is that I can’t play today.  

“You have no idea how hard this is for me to not be able to play these events. 

“The only thing I can do is to accept the situation and try to look at the immediate future keeping the excitement and will to play in order to give me a chance for things to get better.”

Nadal has effectively not played since a hip injury after last year’s Australian Open. He returned in January for a Brisbane tournament, only to get injured again. 

The 37-year-old has suggested that 2024 could be his last season, with his main goals another French Open starting in late May and the Olympics in Paris several weeks later when the tennis competition is played at Roland Garros.

DPA