Also thanks to his very expensive playing style, Rafael Nadal has been one of the most injured players in his career. The start of the season was not what was hoped for for the Spanish phenomenon, who only played the Australian Open in these first three months of the year.
An annoying back problem affected the performance of the 34-year-old Majorcan, who was unable to go beyond the quarter-finals in Melbourne (getting Stefanos Tsitsipas back two sets). The 20-time Grand Slam champion has been forced to forgo several tournaments, including the first Masters 1000 of the season in Miami, but is expected to be ready for the Masters 1000 in Monte Carlo in mid-April.
The main target of the former ATP number 1 is obviously Roland Garros, even if the news coming from the French capital does not leave too much room for optimism. During a recent interview for one of his sponsors, Rafa spoke at length about the importance of his doctor Angel Ruiz Cotorro.
The latter has also assisted other famous tennis players such as Juan Martin del Potro and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario.
Rafael Nadal on his doctor Cotorro
"With Angel we had a lot of difficult times because at the end of the day he is the doctor," Rafael Nadal said.
"And when I'm with the doctor, it's because things are going wrong." The 20-time Grand Slam champion asserted that he would not have been able to achieve as much success without his physician's support.
"But Angel is a very positive person, and that is an important virtue in the medical world," Rafael Nadal continued. "He projects himself and looks forward optimistically. He helped me find solutions. Without him, I would never have been able to win some tournaments.
Without a trusted doctor, my results would have been totally different. I can only thank him." Rafa began his season at the ATP Cup but failed to play a single match due to a minor back injury. However, he competed at the Australian Open in the following week where he won the initial matches without much trouble.
The Spanish legend lost in the quarterfinal in Melbourne to Greek tennis sensation, Stefanos Tsitsipas. It was one of the most memorable matches of the tournament as the Greek athlete fought back and won the match after losing the first couple of sets.
Since then, Nadal has not featured in any tournament. Nonetheless, he intends to resume his season on the clay courts at the Monte Carlo Masters later this month.