Nadal on US Open: “I’m taking care with the serve, to be honest”

The 22-time Grand Slam champion says he’s happy with his game and his physical condition as he prepares for another crack at the title in New York

Rafael Nadal, Cincinnati 2022 Rafael Nadal, Cincinnati 2022 | ┬ę Zuma / Panoramic

It’s three years since Rafael Nadal last played at the US Open, three years since he won the tournament for the fourth time in his career.

Having decided to skip it in 2020 to focus on the French Open in a Covid-19-hit year, he missed the 2021 edition through injury. Having won Roland-Garros for a record 14th time, taking his Grand Slam tally to 22, he’s back in New York, despite a nagging abdominal reason which caused him to pull out before the semi-finals at Wimbledon earlier this summer.

Having returned to the Tour in Cincinnati, Nadal lost in his first match but having played in the pre-tournament charity day, he said he’s feeling good as he builds towards another crack at the title, even if he’s wary of an injury which can flare up at any time.

“It has been a tough deal with tear in abdominal,” he said. “Is a tough injury because it’s dangerous, it’s risky. When you have a scar, it’s a place that you put lot of effort when you are serving.

“You need to find flexibility again because when you have a scar there, beginning is not flexible, is very easy to understand. The risk of breaking when you are doing an important movement back there on a thing that is not flexible like before, the risk is higher.”

Nadal said he is “taking care with the serve, being honest” and that he “took it easy in Cincinnati, in the practices,” and though he lost to eventual champion Borna Coric, he had fought as hard as he could in the match. Now, a week or so on, he is as ready as he can be.

“Here I am practicing. I am doing things the best way that I can. I hope to be ready for the action, no? That’s the only thing that I can say,” he said.

“I have what I have. With the tools that I have today, I hope to be competitive enough to give myself a chance. Yeah, taking care with the serve, being honest. But in general terms, yes, I am practicing at high level of intensity. I’m quite happy the way that I am playing.”

Nadal said he will only really know how he is when he gets going in the tournament itself.

“Of course, we need to compete later. But is already two weeks on the tour, even if only one match professional, official,” he said. “But practicing every day with the guys help me, without a doubt. I played sets every day for the last five days. That helps, of course.

“Before Cincinnati I just played two sets there before the tournament start, so it’s difficult. Even if I had my chance, the preparation have been not very long, but I gave myself a chance there. Was not possible.

“Let’s try here again, no, with a better preparation. From my perspective, I am practicing quite well. Let’s see what can happen, but I am happy with the practices.”

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1 response to “Nadal on US Open: “I’m taking care with the serve, to be honest”

  1. All the experts on tennis never told Rafael Nadal has more title than Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. The three players dominated for 20 years and 3 decades as never had before. Nadal won in the total of 132 titles. 92 atp single 22 grand Slams 11 doubles and 2 gold olmpic medals.
    Also nadal has a record of 81 matches strictly on gray and a record of more weeks in the top 10 record ever of 112 matches win in roland garros, that record of 112 Nadal won in roland garros it is a record of all time in any sport on earth. I want to point out that Julio cesar chavez had a record of 103 victory in boxing, but Nadal suparssed with 112 matches he won in Rolland Garros also a grand slams record ever. And Nadal missed 12 grand slams because injured and withdraws because injured 5 times so Nadal was the player had more injured than anyone in the tennis.Also Nadal missed more grand slams than any tennis player in the history of 150 year of tennis.

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