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Moya: We Will See A Great Nadal Again

By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Punishing pain and injury interruptions won't keep Rafael Nadal down, says coach Carlos Moya.

While Moya isn't certain exactly when the former No. 1 will return, he's convinced Nadal will rise to full form again.

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"We will see a great Nadal again," Moya told L'Equipe.

Continuing his recovery from a hip injury, Nadal has not played since his Australian Open second-round loss to American Mackenzie McDonald last January.

The 14-time Roland Garros champion has missed the entire clay-court season to this point, pulling out of Monte-Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid. Nadal is defending 2,270 ranking points throughout the rest of the clay season.

Injury-induced inactivity saw Nadal's historic 912-week reign inside the world's Top 10 end. The two-time Olympic gold-medal champion is now ranked an unfamiliar No. 14.

Still, Moya says Nadal is training 90 minutes a day and believes when the king of clay does return he will make a commanding comeback because "Rafa is a warrior."

"May 1st was an off day for Rafa. See you on Tuesday in Manacor," Moya told L'Equipe. "Our rhythm? We do more or less an hour and a half a day and we continue to move forward day by day. It's not even about being optimistic or negative, just observing the state of your progress on a daily basis.

"Of course these are difficult times because we missed tournaments that we love, but Rafa is a warrior, with an indestructible mind and when the time comes to come back, we will be very motivated."

Will Nadal regain his health in time to play Rome ahead of this month's Roland Garros? Moya said that is "impossible to say."

"If it turns out, tomorrow everything will be perfect and we will go to Rome. Who knows?" said Moya.

A former world No. 1 himself, Moya said Nadal has repeatedly shattered one of tennis' top myths.


A post shared by Rafa Nadal (@rafaelnadal)

Though Nadal is a notorious creature of habit who draws confidence from match play and proper preparation, Moya points to Nadal's run to the 2022 Australian Open crown, which he captured despite playing just a handful of matches in the six months before Melbourne, as a sign he can excel without much match play.

"I think it's always been a bit of an urban legend that Rafa needs a lot of matches or a lot of tournaments to go far," Moya said. "In the time he has been stopped, he has always come back and from the beginning he has been able to make great results."

Photo credit: Rafa Nadal Academy