Rafael Nadal's coach shares what went 'much better than Spaniard expected'

Former world No. 1 Nadal is returning to make his comeback in Brisbane.

by Dzevad Mesic
Rafael Nadal's coach shares what went 'much better than Spaniard expected'
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Coach Carlos Moya says Rafael Nadal's offseason training block with Arthur Fils went "much better than expected." On December 8th, 37-year-old Nadal landed in Kuwait. There, former world No 1 Nadal trained for a week with 2023 Next Gen ATP Finals runner-up Fils.

"He obviously knows that now he himself is still not at his best level, but that little by little he is going to acquire it. That's part of our job too. These days in Kuwait we have trained with Fils, and the truth is that it was very good, much better than he could have expected.

Rafa came there thinking that he was not going to be competitive, that he was not going to be up to the task and he leaves convinced that he may be," Moya told ATP Tour Espanol.

Moya on the concern he has ahead of Nadal's comeback

When Nadal kicks off his comeback at the Brisbane International, it will be his first tournament since the Australian Open.

Over the last couple of weeks, Nadal has looked great in practice. But practicing and competing in a real tennis match are two different things. "Rafa is going to go from training, which he is doing very well, to competing. And it is impossible to have the same conditions in training as in a match.

Play the best of five sets, win, rest, return to the court two days later... That is the doubt I have right now, especially for a Grand Slam. But we have time. If the Australian Open started tomorrow, it would be a real fear. There is still a month left, a tournament before in Brisbane, demanding training...

I think all of this will put him in a position to be able to endure it. But right now that's my fear," Moya explained. It will be interesting to see how Nadal is going to look in his first tournament back in Brisbane.

Rafael Nadal