Coach Patrick Mouratoglou says he isn't really surprised by the number of injuries that Rafael Nadal has battled throughout his career as Serena Williams' former coach thinks the Spaniard "has a game that is painful for the body." In the first half of the 2022 season, Nadal battled foot and rib injuries but still managed to win back-to-back titles at the Australian Open and French Open.
Following those back-to-back Grand Slam wins, Nadal improved to 22 Slams, while Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer were tied at the second place with 20 Majors. But then, Nadal's condition worsened and the Spaniard hasn't played much since.
Meanwhile, 36-year-old Djokovic is still perfectly healthy and he made the final in all four Grand Slams this year. Also, Djokovic has won four Grand Slams since 2022 Wimbledon and he is now the all-time Grand Slam leader. Nadal, who suffered an injury to his psoas muscle at the Australian Open and underwent surgery in June, is hoping to return healthy in 2024 and play his final season.
Mouratoglou: Nadal has a game that is painful for the body
"I think I said that he will probably be the record holder of number of Grand Slams when he had 12 or 13. He was dominant already. I felt that at that time, he was better than Roger or Rafa.
Of course Rafa was always better on clay, but on all the other surfaces, he was superior. Of course he lost many matches against them. But generally speaking, I felt he was winning more and able to win more and constantly. He was still young and I knew that his body was in perfect shape and ready to last much more than Rafa, for example, who had so many injuries and has a game that is painful for the body.
Novak's game is not painful for the body. He has an incredible diet, training. He's just, for me, the perfect athlete for tennis. So that was the reason," Mouratoglou on Tennis Majors 'Eye of the Coach," via Sportskeeda.
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