Mikhail Youzhny gives his verdict on Rafael Nadal's post-surgery chances in 2024

Youzhny shares his thoughts on Nadal's chances after the Spaniard's hip surgery.

by Dzevad Mesic
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Mikhail Youzhny gives his verdict on Rafael Nadal's post-surgery chances in 2024
© Getty Images Sport - Minas Panagiotakis

Former world No. 8 Mikhail Youzhny thinks nobody can predict how will Rafael Nadal's comeback go but warns the Spaniard cannot be ruled out considering what he was able to do in 2022. 

After missing the second part of 2021 due to a foot injury and being unsure if he would be able to play again, Nadal returned at the start of 2022 without any expectations and ended up winning back-to-back Grand Slam titles at the Australian Open and French Open. This year, Nadal didn't play any tournaments after the Australian Open due to hip surgery and eventual surgery.

After being unsure if he would be able to play again, Nadal announced on December 1st that he would be able to play again and that his comeback would start in Brisbane. Ahead of his comeback, Nadal has been very humbly speaking about his expectations and some think this is finally the time when Nadal doesn't return to winning Slams after an injury break.

“Who could have imagined Rafa winning the Australian Open and Roland-Garros in 2022? Nobody knows how it will turn out, Rafa himself doesn’t. Maybe he stops after the Australian Open, but it is plausible he wins Roland-Garros one more time. That’s why it’s fascinating to follow," Youzhny told Tennis Majors.

Youzhny on Novak Djokovic

While Nadal was sidelined, Novak Djokovic had one of his best seasons at 36. Reflecting on Djokovic winning three Slams in 2023 and still being the world No. 1, Youzhny says there is nothing surprising in that considering how religiously the Serb approaches everything tennis-related. 

“If you told me five years ago what Djokovic’s 2023 would look like, then I would have been surprised. Watching him year by year, we see how he’s changing, so his results don’t surprise me. It’s important that he is still fit, but one thing every player should look up to is his motivation to play tennis. To be honest, I can’t fully comprehend how it’s even possible to be this motivated when he has already won everything – he doesn’t just play tennis, he still lives tennis, and manages to balance it with his family life. Warmup, practice, food, recovery, fighting spirit – he doesn’t relax in any department, that’s how he gives himself a chance to still be at the top of his ability," Youzhny said.

Mikhail Youzhny Rafael Nadal
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