Álex Corretja, Eurosport commentator, wanted to give his opinion on the return to the slopes of Rafa Nadal this week at the Abu Dhabi exhibition tournament after four months away from competition due to a foot injury.
Corretja made an analysis in Eurosport about how he expects the return of Nadal to be, showing his concern about how the Spaniard will adapt again after his foot injury and how it could affect him when leaning to hit the ball, highlighting that, if he knows and nothing prevents him from moving well, the Spaniard is unstoppable. “What worries me most about Rafa’s recovery are his movements. His mobility on the court, his intensity, how he will move and how he will support when he hits the ball. When he moves well, he is supported with his backhand and can hit well the crusader, change the parallel and arrives to change especially his parallel right and dominate, Rafa is almost impossible to beat. The problem is how you get to that ball to be able to support yourself and hit well. That extra half second I’d need today is what worries me the most. The rest, I think it’s a matter of time before it picks up a bit more rhythm “.
Corretja believes that the first week of the Australian Open could come in handy for Nadal to pick up his pace in the face of the decisive matches of the tournament despite having been without playing for a long time. “Rafa will go to the Australian Open and, although he has not competed for a long time, he is one of these players who are so good that they win many games, but your body is not so used that you have pain in your shoulder or back. You have to increase the pace during the tournament. Rafa is already good enough for the first week of the Grand Slam to serve as preparation. He might not have thought that before, but with his tennis level and the physical demands of the first week of a Grand Slam, he should find a good rhythm. “
Lastly, Corretja believes that the match between Rafa Nadal and Andy Murray at the Abu Dhabi exhibition will be a fantastic touchstone to know how Rafa is on his return to the slopes. “It will be nice to see him play against Andy Murray in Abu Dhabi, because he is a very intelligent player who knows perfectly how to play against Rafa. I think that playing with Andy can give Rafa the necessary rhythm to play two or two and a half hours in a match. very hard but at a pace that he likes. With Thiem he must be more explosive. Andy is different, he plays fast, he plays defensively, also on the attack … it’s a good test to see where Rafa is “.