Rafael Nadal literally came out with broken bones from the 2023 Australian Open. The Spanish champion was unable to defend the title he sensationally won last year, but was already eliminated in the second round by the American McDonald.
Rafa hasn't been able to express himself at his best for several months, also thanks to the usual physical problems. The former world No. 1 will drop out of the Top 5 at the end of the AOs and may also have to bid farewell to the Top 10 after more than 900 consecutive weeks.
As if that weren't enough, the Iberian suffered a second-degree injury to the ileo-psoas during the match against McDonald in Melbourne. The 22-time Grand Slam champion will have to stay in the pits for about two months and could reappear directly on the red clay of Montecarlo.
The 36-year-old from Manacor will certainly miss the ATP 500 in Dubai, while his presence in Indian Wells and Miami in early spring remains uncertain. In a long interview with 'RMC Sport', the 2013 Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli reflected on Nadal's future.
Bartoli opens up on Rafa Nadal
Passing by this Wednesday on the RMC Sport program, the Super Moscato Show, Marion Bartoli, tennis consultant, was necessarily asked about Rafael Nadal's new injury during his defeat in the second round of the Open.
Australia. “He is not in denial but I think he has set himself a goal, that of going to win one last Roland-Garros. The Roland-Garros he won last year in 2022, no one thought he was going to win it. We were told that he could barely walk and that his foot was catastrophic.
(…) Even if it will break everywhere, even if it will be difficult, on this surface he has the recipe and the magic formula to be ready. You don't win Roland-Garros fourteen times without knowing how to be ready. I think he will set this last deadline.
And if he really sees that it's not working, he can actually start to consider the rest... Which game he will want to play last, in which place he will want to play last and organize his retirement a bit like Roger Federer with a kind of jubilee,” Marion Bartoli said of Rafael Nadal.
Rafael Nadal's uncle and former long-term coach Toni Nadal can only hope to see his nephew make yet another famous comeback. "My hope is now focused on seeing him, once again, raising his head and fighting to be at Roland Garros defending his options," Toni Nadal wrote in a column for El Pais.