Serena Williams' former coach criticizes Nadal and Ruud's wrong choice

Rennae Stubbs is convinced that the Spanish and Norwegian suffered problems in 2023 due to a wrong decision made in 2022: here's what it is

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Serena Williams' former coach criticizes Nadal and Ruud's wrong choice
© Adam Pretty / Staff Getty Images Sport

On November 2022, the 14-time Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal, together with Casper Ruud, decided to hold exhibition matches in South America. According to former Swerena Williams' coach Rennae Stubbs, playing these matches in that particular period of the season and in that particular context would have created problems for both of them.

But above all it didn't help the Norwegian, who then started the season very slowly. "What Ruud did really messed him up. I'm referring to last year, when he insisted on playing these exhibition matches with Rafael Nadal, who is his idol, even though he was probably paid millions of dollars to do all of this.

Then he didn't play anymore and thought: Oh my God, I have to play the Australian Open. It's like he needs a break. This tells me that he should have chosen his program better than him. This is also why I believe Novak Djokovic has managed to dominate in recent years," said Serena's former coach.

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal is ready to return after a year's break

Nadal will return to Australia after more than a year of absence. Last year the Spanish champion practically only set foot on the court at the Australian Open, suffering a serious injury to his psoas muscle, which practically kept him on the sidelines for the entire season.

The former world number one has given several interviews, declaring that he is not sure if he will be able to return to a level that will allow him to compete at the levels he is used to, which is why the coming year will probably be the last of his extraordinary career.

The Spaniard left the door open also for an eventual year on a tennis court, after 2024, explaining he needs to feel his body, to understand what he will do at the end of the next season.

Serena Williams Rennae Stubbs