David Ferrer makes huge prediction about Rafael Nadal's tennis future

Ferrer addresses the possibility of Nadal being on the Tour in 2025.

by Dzevad Mesic
David Ferrer makes huge prediction about Rafael Nadal's tennis future
© Getty Images Sport - Chris Hyde

Spanish tennis legend David Ferrer says he has zero doubt that Rafael Nadal will be a pro tennis player in 2025 if he avoids injuries and setbacks in the remainder of the year. 

Last year, Nadal sustained an injury to his psoas muscle at the Australian Open and ended up having surgery and missing the remainder of the 2023 season. After recovering from his hip surgery, Nadal officially started his comeback in the first week of the season in Brisbane. 

To no one's surprise, Nadal was instantly asked about the chances of seeing him change his mind and continue playing beyond 2024. Answering the question, Nadal said there was a chance of that happening but underlined that he would need to feel healthy and competitive to consider that option. 

Then, Nadal started his Brisbane campaign with two impressive straight-set wins over Dominic Thiem and Jason Kubler. But then, Nadal suffered "a micro tear" injury during his Brisbane quarterfinal match against Jordan Thompson and ended up losing the match in three sets.

However, Nadal sounded positive and optimistic after the injury, insisting it wasn't anything that would put him in a dark place.

"Yes, without a doubt. Knowing Rafa a little or a lot, if he does not have physical injuries, I am convinced that he will be competitive. It was already shown in the first week of the year in Brisbane that he was at a very high level without hardly competing. If he doesn't have any injuries he will be competitive and if he is competitive, he will continue for another year," Ferrer told Marca when asked if he sees Nadal playing in 2025 if his injury doesn't return.

David Ferrer and Rafael Nadal
David Ferrer and Rafael Nadal© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Ferrer on the Nadal-Carlos Alcaraz exhibition match

After sustaining the injury in Brisbane, Nadal skipped the Australian Open and he also didn't play in Doha last week. But Nadal arrived in Indian Wells a couple of days ago and he is ready to play again. But before the Indian Wells Masters, Nadal will head to Las Vegas for the Netflix Slam against Alcaraz. 

On paper, the match itself isn't that significant considering that it's an exhibition match. But Nadal could benefit a lot from the match as playing against Alcaraz will give him a good chance to see where he is at now and overall test his level before Indian Wells. And Ferrer expects both Nadal and Alcaraz to take seriously the match.

"Knowing Rafa, I think he is going to care about that match, competing at the highest level because then comes Indian Wells," Ferrer said.

"For him it is important to feel good in tennis and he is going to measure himself with nothing more and nothing less than Carlos Alcaraz. For Carlos it is also important because he has not played much and it will serve him well for Indian Wells and Miami. As a spectator, I would pay a ticket to see it."

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal© Getty Images Sport - Chris Hyde

Ferrer on Alcaraz's struggles, compares him to Nadal 

After impressively beating Novak Djokovic in last year's Wimbledon final, 20-year-old Alcaraz won his second Grand Slam title and was also ranked at No. 1 after Wimbledon. Up to that point, Alcaraz had played 10 tournaments in 2023 and had six titles on the year. Since then, Alcaraz has played in 10 tournaments but hasn't triumphed in any.

Over the several months, some have claimed that the reason behind Alcaraz's struggles is the fact that the pressure and expectations massively increased on him after his impressive Wimbledon win. Ferrer, the 2013 French Open runner-up and a former world No. 3, seemingly agrees that's the case but also highlights all of this is "a learning experience" and expects the Spaniard to overcome this situation.

"He is second in the world and you cannot demand that a 20-year-old player always win. The players also know him better, but he is a special player, of the caliber of Rafa, Roger or Novak," Ferrer said.

"Now is when you handle the pressure. Not everything is new, you demand that you always win because you are second in the world and you have been number one. The semi-finals are no longer valid. He demands to win and it is not easy, it is a process... 

"It is a learning experience and Carlos is able to assume and accept where he can improve. The year has just begun and it will evolve, without a doubt."

Carlos Alcaraz
Carlos Alcaraz© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Considering that Nadal is set to turn 38 in June and possibly be out of pro tennis as soon as this year, shortly all the eyes could be on Alcaraz. At 20, Alcaraz has already achieved impressive success and Ferrer believes the 20-year-old is a "player of Nadal caliber" and backs him to bring more major success to Spanish tennis in the future. 

"Alcaraz is a blessing for us because I thought that no one could be like Rafa and Carlos is a player of that caliber, a special player," Ferrer said. 

David Ferrer Rafael Nadal