"The clay-court season was very tough, with a lot of physical and mental pressure...he has considered...to stop to come back full of strength..." Rafael Nadal's coach Carlos Moya had explained. But it's not as simple as that when it comes to the Spaniard skipping a few major events to rest.
The time has come for Nadal to be selective on events he should and should not play. This is where the difficulty may begin. After a rigorous participation of the clay season, Rafael Nadal definitely wants to conserve his energies as long as he can.
But can he change his level of being a full time career player to a semi time professional? "The goal is to prolong my career and continue to do what makes me happy," the multi grand slam champ had said the way he wants to lay out his plan.
There has been a push and pull with the Spaniard working a packed tour schedule for decades and expecting to put forth the utmost superior performances. This has worked over the years but the Pandemic not only called an abrupt halt to tournaments and made everyone tune in to what's necessary and what's not in their lives.
The announcement Nadal gave of not playing Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics was a definite shock to the tennis community. It served as a wake-up call to everyone including Nadal that the can't be superior in all tournaments all the time.
The Pandemic had taken a lot out of the players and knowing their full potential and performing it was deduced by the epics of being in 'the bubble' to stay virus-free. Nadal had made the point that only 2 weeks existed between the French Open and Wimbledon.
It certainly isn't enough time to recuperate and to put forth a great performance. The Spaniard had put on some stinging tournaments comprised of two quarterfinals at the Monte-Carlo Masters and the Madrid Open. He topped his performances by making it into two finals: Barcelona and the Italian Open.
Nadal's appearance at the French Open went into the semifinals where he lost to Novak Djokovic in three sets. The Spaniard knows that he has to alter his schedule or he wouldn't be able to have the endurance to go on.
"Rafa finished exhausted. He's going to take a well deserved rest..." Moya commented. Everyone is wondering now if all of Nadal's schedule will be severely cut and how will the outcome of his playing participation result.
Will he be able to make it deep in tournaments or only get to the opening and second rounds. It's something to take into consideration and for Nadal to have the greatest hand in doing what can help his performance and body.
Maybe seeing Rafael Nadal on a part-time basis won't be that bad, as long as his standard and level of play remains good.