Barbara Schett noted that Rafael Nadal was playing his first match in a month and a half and underlined that the Spaniard can't be taken for granted if he enters the US Open healthy and fully fit. Nadal, 36, sustained an abdominal injury at Wimbledon, which forced him to pull out from his semifinal match versus Nick Kyrgios.
After being out for a month, Nadal returned to action at this week's Cincinnati Masters, where he suffered a 7-6 (9) 4-6 6-3 loss to Borna Coric. “Don’t forget that was his first match since that injury,” Schett said on Eurosport.
“The match is always different from practice. And whoever had an abdominal injury and a tear on the abdominal muscles knows how it feels. You have to be extremely cautious. You’re worried that you’re going to reinjure it again.
And I think that’s what we’ve seen on Wednesday. When he played against Coric, he was a little bit uncertain how the body was going to hold up. And for sure he’s going to feel better and better."
Schett: A healthy and fit Nadal is a threat
Playing just one match going into a Grand Slam is never ideal.
But Nadal is one of the greatest players in tennis history and he is never lacking motivation when he is playing a Grand Slam tournament. "If there’s no damage to the abdominal muscle, then he still has a week and a half to improve his health, to improve the trust also that he can extend and he can’t bend on the serve because that’s the trickiest shot, the serve and the smash.
When that is the case, Rafa Nadal certainly can be dangerous again at the US Open. I mean, he’s so fired up at every single Grand Slam. We’ve seen this year playing the best tennis of his life. You can never, ever write him off," Schett added.
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