'I wonder if this time Rafael Nadal'll be able to', says expert
by SIMONE BRUGNOLI | VIEW 4582
Next February 27 will be a busy week for tennis fans. From March 27 to 4, the Acapulco and Dubai tournaments will be held, and all the stars of the world scene will be on the field. Two ATP 500 and terrifying numbers for world-class tournaments.
If Acapulco will have several Top Ten players, the tournament in the United Arab Emirates is no less impressive and, above all, it will have Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. The two world tennis phenomena have decided to start with the same tournament and everyone dreams of a final perhaps between the two members of the Big Three.
It won't be easy because it's a tournament full of stars, there are also other Top Ten and close tennis players in the ranking. Like any good number one in the world, Novak Djokovic leads the standings ahead of Russian Andrey Rublev and ahead of Rafael Nadal, the third seed in the tournament.
Not only them, because Félix Auger Aliassime and the Pole Hubert Hurkacz will also be there, and even outside the Top Ten we will see top-ranked tennis players. Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev, former Top 5 called to react after a difficult period, will also take to the track in Dubai.
The Russian is always too discontinuous and has come out of the Top Ten, while the German has returned from a long injury and is working to recover the best possible condition. Speaking of Russians, in addition to Rublev and Medvedev, there will also be Karen Khachanov, a semifinalist at the last Australian Open and a very respectable player.
Steve Flink opens up on Nadal
Steve Flink hailed Rafael Nadal's ability to bounce back from all of his previous injuries but expressed doubt about him doing the same this year. "So many complicated injuries and the abdominal thing this past year and the foot, and the knees don't act up anymore.
There seems to always be something new cropping up and he's so injury prone and so gutsy at coming back from these injuries. But I wonder if this time he'll be able to, because you think about last year with Nadal, how he left Rome, beaten by (Denis) Shapovalov," Flink said.
"It looked like he could barely walk on the court, he had to get injections before every match at Roland Garros and commendably, he came through to take that title. But is he gonna be able to do something similar to that again? Can he replicate something as remarkable as that? We don't know. Let's hope he is healthy for the clay court season," he added.