'Rafael Nadal feels no pain,' says Richard Gasquet

Rafael Nadal and Richard Gasquet trained together in Mallorca

by Jovica Ilic
'Rafael Nadal feels no pain,' says Richard Gasquet
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A 22-time Major winner Rafael Nadal is ready to continue his tennis journey! The Spaniard has overcome the worst period of his career and will compete again in Brisbane in the first week of 2024. Rafa trained with his old rival Richard Gasquet in Mallorca, and the Frenchman praised his compatriot.

Richard explained Rafa's current level, saying the legend is injury-free and capable of winning matches again. Gasquet and Nadal embraced demanding practice sessions, and the Spaniard looks good ahead of his first matches in Australia.

Nadal has experienced the most extended break of his career, injuring his left hip at this year's Australian Open and missing the rest of the season after failing to recover. The 36-year-old will start all over in a couple of weeks, hoping to compete injury-free and reach a high level again.

Rafa will face many challenges right from the opening tournament. He stands outside the top-600 for the first time since May 2002, risking playing against the rivals from the top from the first round! Nadal has dealt with many physical issues in the previous four years.

However, he still won Major titles, standing ahead of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer after a great run in the first half of 2022. Rafa conquered the Australian Open and Roland Garros for the first time in a career before reaching the Wimbledon semi-final.

The Spaniard struggled with an abdominal injury, withdrawing and never recovering his game. Nadal has played only 13 matches since August 2022, losing form and confidence and missing a chance to extend the GOAT race with Djokovic.

Richard Gasquet spoke about Rafael Nadal's level after training with him.

After many struggles in the closing stages of 2022, Rafa failed to make a fresh start in 2023. He lost two times at the United Cup from a set up, entering the Australian Open with zero confidence.

Nadal made a winning start against Jack Draper, arranging the duel against Mackenzie McDonald. The Spaniard did not play his best tennis, trailing before injuring his left hip in the second set's closing stages. Rafa announced a Grade 2 iliopsoas and underwent arthroscopic surgery in June, ending the season and jeopardizing his career.

After a proper rest with his family and friends, Nadal started practicing again, combining his training sessions with the gym and shaping up his body. Feeling improvements on the court, Rafa will start from the beginning in Brisbane in a couple of weeks, feeling eager to play competitive tennis and extend his incredible career.

"Rafa told me it took him a while to make a comeback, but I felt he was no longer in pain. There is no doubt he will be competitive and will win matches! Rafa is doing long three-hour sessions. That's what you need to do - play as much as possible," Richard Gasquet said.

Rafael Nadal Richard Gasquet