Coach reveals difficulties experienced during Rafael Nadal's 2023 injury period

Nadal had a tough and challenging time throughout 2023 but he is set to play again.

by Dzevad Mesic
Coach reveals difficulties experienced during Rafael Nadal's 2023 injury period
© Getty Images Sport - Sarah Stier

Coach Carlos Moya acknowledged this past period with Rafael Nadal was "the most difficult time" he has had since coaching Rafael Nadal but also highlighted that he and the rest of the team did their best to do "the right thing" in every situation.

Nadal, who has a long injury history, endured probably the most difficult injury period in 2023. After sustaining an injury to his psoas muscle at the Australian Open, Nadal was initially expected to miss six to eight weeks but he ended up suffering several setbacks and missing a lot more.

In early June, Nadal surgically addressed his hip injury and that meant the end of his 2023 season. But even after undergoing surgery, it was all far from ideal for Nadal, who was initially making slow progression and fearing he may not even be able to return in 2024.

"Both myself and the rest of the team. When I talk about myself, I talk about the whole team, aware that we are with a 37-year-old human being who has his life, his family, his interests, and his feelings. We’ve tried to support him, doing what we thought was right at each moment, looking out for his well-being and confidence.

Sometimes we had to press him a little, sometimes we had to take a step back," Moya told the ATP website.

Moya on if 2023 was 'the most difficult time' with Nadal

Moya, who has been working with Nadal since 2016 December, acknowledged there were some very difficult moments during Nadal's injury period, mainly because they feared the former world No 1 may not play again.

"Without any doubt. There have been other difficult situations, but now you can tell the batteries are running low. A sportsman has an expiry date, and he is getting closer to it every day. You’re never aware of when that time is, very rarely.

You just keep trying. And I think in that regard we’ve all had our doubts that it could come in Australia, he more so than anyone. I had them for a certain part of the process, during certain stages. I had the feeling that it could be the end, that he’d have no chance to play again. It was the most difficult time I’ve had with him," Moya explained.

Rafael Nadal