'I Forced It': Nadal Regrets 'Mistake' He Made Early During His Comeback

'I Forced It': Nadal Regrets 'Mistake' He Made Early During His Comeback

by Zachary Wimer

Rafael Nadal made an honest admission after his 2024 Madrid Open winning start: It was about forcing himself early in the comeback.

Even at his age, the Spaniard still makes mistakes. You'd think that by now, he'd know all the tricks, but that's just not how life works. We all learn every day, and even the best in something learn every day from it.

It's why Novak Djokovic is still perfecting his craft almost two decades into his career. Nadal's mistake was pushing too hard early into his injury comeback.

Looking back at the start of the season now allows Nadal to understand that playing in Australia was a mistake. He made the honest admission after his winning start at the Madrid Open.

"Three weeks ago I didn't know if I would be able to play an official match. I would like what is happening to me these weeks to have happened in Australia, in Doha or in Indian Wells. What I have to try is to prevent what happened in Brisbane."

When he returned to Brisbane, Nadal looked very good. He bested Dominic Thiem easily and then won another match before finally losing in the third match he played. He suffered an injury setback in that one, which caused him to miss all this time until the Barcelona Open.

That lack of consistency is what is most troublesome for Nadal because it's very hard to get back once you have to stop again. If he hadn't rushed it, he likely wouldn't have suffered a setback, but no one knows that.

"When you stop your body and start from scratch, things happen that have not allowed me to follow an evolution. In Australia, I forced it and what happened, and there it was a mistake. I had prepared myself as much as possible and I felt better prepared than today."


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