Nadal Backed For 'Competitive' Farewell By Good Friend Lopez

Nadal Backed For 'Competitive' Farewell By Good Friend Lopez

by Balasz Virag

Feliciano Lopez has backed friend Rafael Nadal to return to a competitive level and not just to have a farewell on the court.

Rafael Nadal will make a return to the ATP Tour in about five months at the Australian Open if things go well with his recovery. So far, recovery has been going pretty well, as all around him are very optimistic when it comes to his return in 2024.

The season will be his last season, so we'll only get to see him play all the big events one more time. There is going to be a lot of pressure to try and win some events to reduce the gap to Novak Djokovic.

Some think that he will only return to say goodbye to tennis on the court, but that's now what Feliciano Lopez thinks. Nadal recently saw him retire in Mallorca, and the former player is backing his friend to return competitively.

He is fine and his recovery is going well. Knowing Rafa and watching his career, it’s hard for me to see him enter a tennis court without feeling competitive. If everything goes well, in 2024 we will see him playing well. At what level? It’s difficult to know because it’s a big question mark. It’s been a long time, after the injury at Wimbledon 2022 he played very little. But he has all the rest of the year to recover.

Lopez made some fair points in his talk with Clay Tenis about Nadal and his return. He mentioned his mental prowess, which is an asset he can use when he returns. He will also be fresher after not competing, though also rusty. Time will tell best what happens, but motivation is never a problem for Nadal.

Yes, I’m sure that if Rafa returns to play tennis he will do it competitively. Sometimes being away from the courts helps you to see things differently, to come back with enthusiasm and desire. Because keep in mind that being 15 or 20 years at that level of demand saturates you mentally. Being away from your family and your son can help a lot.


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