"2013 was a magical year. It will not be repeated". It's Rafael Nadal back at a little superstition the one talking to the Spanish press in these days that precede his comeback to tennis, even though initially for warm-up sessions to build up his momentum and confidence.
The real tournaments will arrive no sooner than January, when Rafael will be asked to defend his title conquered 12 months before in Doha. What has changed since 2013 so much that Rafa is sure his incredible comeback, which two years ago was worth a total of two Grand Slam titles, will not be repeated? "I am two years older now.
I will have to try my best to be back on top. This year I had many different problems. First the back, then the wrist only to finish with the appendicitis. All these things put together didn't allow to compete on top for many months of the year.
Because of that, the first goal for 2015 is not to get injured. I also expect to play and compete more and more against players who are not in the Fab Four". Watching Roger Federer tearing up after the Davis Cup title conquered in Lille, did Rafael think about the old memories, when he himself guided Spain to success? The World No.3 revealed how he shouldn't be his main responsibility to grant Spain with another success, but rather the responsibility of the new generation.
"To me, represent Spain has always been a mean of great honor. But I am no longer 20, I am 28 now and that is reality. There should be a new generation kicking in to take the place of those who made history over the past decade or so.
We faced difficulties in the past, but always came out on top. It is normal to have more physical issues growing older. If I will play in the Davis Cup for the play-offs in July? I don't know, we are still in November and I haven't yet started practicing again".