'Rafael Nadal is in the progression phase', says expert

Rafael Nadal has started 2023 in the worst possible way

by Simone Brugnoli
'Rafael Nadal is in the progression phase', says expert

Rafael Nadal has started 2023 in the worst possible way, having lost the first two matches of the season for the first time in his long career. The former world number 1 was defeated by Cameron Norrie and Alex de Minaur at the United Cup, giving the feeling that he is a long way from optimal form.

An alarm bell that cannot be underestimated about ten days before the start of the Australian Open, in which the Spaniard will be called to defend his title. If we also include the end of last season in the discussion, one cannot help but notice how Rafa has lost six of the last seven matches played on the circuit.

His only victory came against Casper Ruud in the group stage of the ATP Finals in Turin, moreover when the games were over. The 2023 Australian Open will start on January 16 at Melbourne Park and the Majorcan has plenty of time to get back on his feet.

In an interview with 'Santander City', Dr. Angel Ruiz Cotorro reflected on Nadal's condition.

Cotorro opens up on Rafa Nadal

"Rafael Nadal's fine, in the progression phase because that's what he needs when he has finished the year without rhythm.

He has had good games and is doing well," Cotorro said. "Let's hope that like all the Spaniards, Carlos, Pablo and Roberto, are ready to compete in Australia and let's hope that everything goes well," Cotorro said. Rafael Nadal is not terribly concerned about his pair of singles losses at the United Cup ahead of the start of the 2023 season.

“I was very close to win against two great players. I am not too alarmed,” he told reporters. “I need to be a little bit faster on the court. Last year I had lost two matches in Abu Dhabi too. I think it’s definitely up there [as one of my best wins],” De Minaur said.

“It’s one of those achievements that you have unlocked in your career. But also, it’s a big win for myself, one that I really needed. I’m gonna cherish and use, take all the confidence from this and be able to hopefully take it to have a good Aussie summer.

It’s always a surreal experience playing here. Just walking out there and hearing the support I get on that court is pretty special. No secret [that] it is my favourite court to play on in front of friends and family. I’ve had so many great memories, and I’ve been able to add another one to it. I’m extremely stoked”.

Rafael Nadal