Rafael Nadal says he won’t be a Grand Slam contender in 2024

Rafael Nadal says he won’t be a Grand Slam contender in 2024

Rafael Nadal will not be a serious contender for any Grand Slam in 2024, not even Roland Garros, says former Serena Williams coach Rick March.

Nadal is expected to return to tennis in January after missing a year with a hip problem, with the Australian Open appearing to be a realistic goal for him.

This is an event he has won since returning from injury, and he also competed due to a foot injury on his way to the 2022 title. A few months later, he won the French Open in the same manner.

However, March, who has coached Andy Roddick, Venus Williams and Maria Sharapova, does not believe Nadal can achieve such a feat again.

“As far as Rafa coming back, as you get older you lose a little bit of mobility and when people know you’re vulnerable, they’re not afraid,” March told Tennis Unlimited.

“There’s not much difference between the top players and the players at the next level, it’s completely different when they know they have a chance, even on clay.”

March said Nadal’s previous mental lead, especially on clay, may have been eroded by his injuries.

Still, there won’t be many people hoping to play the Spaniard at Roland Garros.

“He had a record of 112-3 on clay (at Roland Garros) against Rafa before, but the match was over before it even started,” March explained.

“You know you’re unlikely to beat that guy. So, that being said, I wish Rafa all the best, but he’s not at the same level now as he was before, so I don’t think he’s a contender to win a Grand Slam.

“I think he’s competitive and I think he’s a tough choice for anyone on clay, but it depends on his fitness.”

Australian Open ‘confirmed’ Rafael Nadal will participate

Rafael Nadal is notoriously cautious when it comes to recovering from injuries and the timetable he sets.

It is highly unusual for the Spaniard to commit to something too far ahead and he has yet to confirm his schedule for 2024.

However, reports in Spain claim Nadal will head to the academy in Kuwait to intensify practice in December, with Australian Open chairman Craig Tilly “confirming” Nadal will be part of the draw in Melbourne.

“Rafa has been training and I probably keep a close eye on him every day because he’s a huge attraction for us,” Tilley said. “He wants to compete, he’s obviously planning to compete. It all depends on how he gets back on his feet.

“Hopefully next week or the next two weeks we will get some concrete confirmation. “I’m sure Rafa will be here because he doesn’t want to miss the opportunity to repeat what he did a few years ago. “

Read next: Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz face Paris Olympic hurdles after Davis Cup announcement

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