“There were a lot of moments when he said, ‘I can’t anymore'” – Moya opens up about Nadal’s doubts

In an interview with L’Equipe, Carlos Moya spoke about the difficult times Nadal has experienced over the past three months

Nadal and Moya, Roland-Garros, 2024 Nadal and Moya, Roland-Garros, 2024 © Zuma / Panoramic

Despite his defeat in the first round of Roland-Garros, a first in his career, Rafael Nadal has everyone in agreement about his ability to return to the highest level. Even though he lost in straight sets to world No 4 Alexander Zverev, the Spaniard led by a break in both the second and third sets, and had chances to turn the match around.

The 37-year-old has now reassured himself of his own physicality, stressing the fact that he can now train and move without limitations, a first since his return from injury.

He is also reassured about the level of tennis he can produce. Nadal is hitting the ball very well and would have beaten a sizeable portion of players in the field, had the draw not been so unkind to him.

But to get to this point, the Spaniard suffered a lot mentally and physically.

In an interview with French newspaper L’Equipe on Thursday, his coach Carlos Moya went into more detail about the path taken by Nadal leading up to his participation in Roland-Garros.

The biggest revelation was that Nadal had thought of stopping for good.

“There were days when we could hardly do anything. In Manacor (on the island of Mallorca, in the Balearic Islands), there were very short training sessions (smiles).

“Along the way, a lot of things happened. Not only before Barcelona, but also for a month-and-a-half. We had to deal with dips, setbacks, small injuries that slowed down the process and didn’t allow us to move forward as we would have liked.


Carlos Moya

“In training, when the pain came back, when he couldn’t play Indian Wells, when he couldn’t go to Monte Carlo… That’s also why we went to Barcelona, knowing that he’s not ready. So that he could simply return to the circuit and hope to go to Roland-Garros, that’s what he had to do.

“But there were many moments when he said, ‘I can’t do it anymore’

“I’ve always thought that you shouldn’t make decisions in the heat of the moment, whether you were very sad or very happy. We knew when he said that, ‘I can’t do it anymore’, that the hours that were going to pass after that, he was going to think about it and keep going.

“We listened to him, we respected this moment and the next day, we went back to training, forgetting about it a little. But this is something we had never heard before.

“After Barcelona, he didn’t say that kind of thing anymore, even during the critical moments in Rome. It was hard, but he wanted to continue.”

Nadal appears to have committed to his new decision to continue his career even after his defeat at Roland-Garros against Zverev.

The Spaniard loves to travel with his family and has not closed the door on a return to Paris in 2025. His main goal remains to be competitive this summer at the Olympic Games which will take place in Paris and on the his home courts.

All the more reason for Rafa to feel optimistic.

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