Rafael Nadal’s Coach Remains Optimistic About His Chances at the 2023 French Open

ParallelDesk 12:46:39 PM, 27 April 2023

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Rafael Nadal, one of the most successful tennis players of all time with 22 Grand Slam titles to his name, has not played a single tour-level match in over three months due to injuries. However, according to his coach Carlos Moya, the Spanish sensation could still be ready for the second Grand Slam tournament of the season in Paris. Ever since winning last year's Roland Garros, Nadal has struggled with injuries. He withdrew from Wimbledon due to a torn abdominal muscle before his semi-final clash against Nick Kyrgios, and at the 2023 Australian Open, he suffered an iliopsoas muscle tear in his left leg during his second-round loss against Mackenzie McDonald. Despite being sidelined by injuries, Nadal was still expected to return to action in March. However, he failed to recover and opted out of tournaments in Monte-Carlo, Barcelona, and Madrid, where he has enjoyed a lot of success. Speaking at an event recently, former player Moya remarked that it wasn't easy for Nadal to withdraw from some of his favorite tournaments. But he was quick to add that his compatriot's goal was to win a record-extending 15th title at the 2023 French Open. “These are tough times because he is a competitive beast and this is his favorite time of the year,” Moya said. “So for him, saying 'no' to tournaments like the Madrid Open, like Monte-Carlo, like Barcelona, it hurts. But the goal is still Roland Garros. It is clear that the preparation is not going to be ideal. But he is Rafa Nadal, you can always expect the best from him.” Nadal played in the Paris Major for the first time in 2005 and won. Out of the 115 matches since then, he has lost no more than three, maintaining a 97 percent win percentage. However, Nadal’s former coach and uncle, Toni, recently spoke to RTVE and admitted that his nephew's preparations ahead of the 2023 French Open were not “good”. Nevertheless, the 62-year-old remained optimistic about Nadal’s chances, remarking that a favorable draw at the start of the tournament could help Nadal immensely. “Obviously he will not arrive with good preparation, we must not fool ourselves," Toni said. "He hasn't competed for quite some time. Before January, he didn't compete much either, but I think Rafael will pick up form soon. In a Grand Slam, it depends a lot on the draw. “If you're lucky enough to have a good draw in the first rounds, then… well. Rafael in the second week is already a favorite. In the first week, lately maybe he is not. He was not last year in Australia, but from the second week, you say, 'Well, we can count on him'. And I hope the same thing happens at Roland Garros.” Despite the concerns about his lack of preparation time, Nadal recently shared a photograph of himself practicing at his academy in Mallorca, giving fans hope that he will return strongly. The 35-year-old’s quest for a 15th French Open title is set to begin on May 28 when the tournament gets underway at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris.

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