Tennis icon identifies weapon that could land Rafael Nadal some wins in 2023

In Brisbane, 37-year-old Nadal started his post-surgery comeback.

by Dzevad Mesic
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Tennis icon identifies weapon that could land Rafael Nadal some wins in 2023
© Getty Images Sport - Chris Hyde

Jimmy Connors thinks Rafael Nadal may clinch some wins in 2023 even before stepping out on the court as the American tennis icon believes there will still be players who will experience a mental block when they face the 22-time Grand Slam champion. 

After suffering a hip injury during the 2023 Australian Open and ultimately having surgery in June, Nadal returned to action this week at the Brisbane International. Prior to kicking off his comeback, the 37-year-old Spaniard was very humbly speaking about his expectations and goals. 

But then, Nadal ousted 2020 US Open champion Dominic Thiem 7-5 6-1 in his first match back before also dismantling Jason Kubler 6-1 6-2. In the Brisbane quarterfinal, Nadal's run came to an end after the Spaniard blew three match points and required a medical timeout for a left leg issue.

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal© Getty Images Sport - Chris Hyde
 

Although Nadal's Brisbane run ended with a surprise defeat, he still earned two very impressive wins before exiting the tournament.

Connors: I think some players will still have a mental block against Nadal

"Yeah, you know and I look back because a lot of times you walk out there and you've won the match before you people walked on the court. Yeah. And I think Rafael Nadal might still have that reputation. I think he's still has that, 'Oh my god, he's back, oh, watch out, he's been out for a year you know you know sometimes you get a little twitchy,'" Connors said on the Advantage Connors podcast. 

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal© Getty Images Sport - Chris Hyde
 

After his Brisbane exit, Nadal raised certain concerns about his injury in his post-match press conference. Even before Nadal's comeback started, the general opinion was that staying healthy would be the key and priority for the Spaniard at the start of his comeback. 

Unfortunately, Nadal suffered an injury scare in his first tournament back. It remains to be seen if a left leg issue Nadal experienced in Brisbane will impact his Australian Open participation. 

Rafael Nadal
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