Coach Carlos Moya acknowledged that Rafael Nadal has had some great moments on the court this year, but also noted that there have been some tough moments as well. Nadal, 36, started the season by winning his first 20 matches and clinching titles at the Melbourne Summer Set, Australian Open and Acapulco.
Then, Nadal sustained a rib injury at the Indian Wells Masters and missed the start of the clay season. Just when Nadal returned to action, he started experiencing problems with his foot again. Still, Nadal managed to win a record 14th French Open title.
Then, Nadal made the Wimbledon semifinal, where he was forced to give Nick Kyrgios a walkover due to an abdominal injury. "It’s a perfect year, but one that has been full of incidents. When he’s played, his level has been spectacular, above all at important moments.
But it’s true that there have been incidents, preventing him from having the continuity he would have liked. We mustn’t forget one thing: he’s a 36-year-old player, with a lot of miles under his belt. It’s normal for the body to gradually start faltering," Moya told the ATP Tour website.
Moya on Nadal's chances of returning to the top spot
Nadal doesn't have a single point to defend in the rest of the season and he is the clear frontrunner to finish the year ranked at the top spot. Moya insists that the top ranking is not Nadal's top priority, but noted they will gladly take it if the opportunity presents.
"Being number one again has a lot of value; ending the year at the top of the rankings, even more so. If you look at his schedule, it’s clear that it’s not a goal. The most important thing for him is looking after his body and being well for the Grand Slams.
But if it’s put in front of him, of course we’ll go for it," Moya said. On Monday, Nadal suffered a shock defeat to Frances Tiafoe in the US Open last-16. Had Nadal reached the final, he would have been guaranteed a return to the top spot on Monday.
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