Mats Wilander gives thoughts on Rafael Nadal suffering injury ahead of clay season

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Mats Wilander gives thoughts on Rafael Nadal suffering injury ahead of clay season

Former seven-time Grand Slam champion Mats Wilander said he thinks Rafael Nadal injured himself by pushing his body too hard. After winning back-to-back titles at the Melbourne Summer Set and Australian Open, Nadal returned to action three weeks later in Acapulco, where he won his third title of the season.

Nadal decided to play Indian Wells but withdrew from Miami. "In a perfect world, I would’ve thought that once he won the tournament in Acapulco, Mexico, playing as well as he did, beating [Daniil] Medvedev again in two sets, beating Cameron Norrie in the finals in two sets, I was 100% sure he wasn’t going to play in Indian Wells or Miami," Wilander told Eurosport, per Tennishead.

“That he would take a month off from tournaments and then go to his normal schedule which is play the clay-court."

Nadal would be forced to skip Miami anyway

After the Indian Wells final, the tests revealed Nadal suffered a rib stress fracture.

Nadal announced he would be out for four to six weeks. “So 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 run as hard as he can,” Wilander added.

“People are saying ‘Rafa Nadal will not last a long time because of injuries.’ I’ve always said kind of the opposite. “Rafa Nadal will last until he gets injured, then he’ll go home and he’ll rehab, and then he’ll play again and he’ll push himself so hard physically, mentally and emotionally that he’ll get injured again.

Then he’ll go home, he’ll rehab, then he starts again. “This is his career and it’s not easy, he keeps saying that himself, but he’s had a pretty decent career. “I mean 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”.