As part of a poker promotion, Rafael Nadal gave a selected group of media an update on his recovery from a knee injury yesterday. And the news isn’t encouraging at least in the near term for him and his fan base.
Without confirming an official end to his 2012 tennis season – Rafa was aiming to return for the London ATP World Tour Finals and then the Davis Cup final – Nadal has now set his targets on coming back for the start of 2013.
“This is a day-by-day thing, I have checks every week to see how I’m improving. I can’t predict what will happen,” Nadal told the Daily Mail.
“I hope you see me in Australia,” he said. “That is the biggest goal for me, to come back just before then in Qatar, but I cannot say for sure it is going to happen.
“The only thing is to recover well. I want to be 100 per cent when I come back. I don’t want to keep playing every day with doubts, not knowing if my knee is going to answer all the questions.”
Rafa also revealed that he hasn’t picked up a tennis racquet. That he’s been staying in shape by swimming 1 KM a day. And that his Hoffa Syndrome left knee pain first began at Indian Wells, then resurfaced during the late stages of the French Open.
Looking back, Nadal now questions his participation at Wimbledon, where he was stunned in his last match by Lukas Rosol in the second round on June 28.
“Was it a mistake to play at Wimbledon? Maybe, but when you are playing well it is hard to stop. At Roland Garros I had to play with anti-inflammatories to get through. After that I felt really bad. My practice before Wimbledon was terrible. I played the first round with injections, otherwise it would have been impossible. That doesn’t help the knee,” he told the paper.
Nadal also questioned his future on hardcourts, which is the predominant surface in men’s tennis, a fact he’d like to change.
“Hard courts are very negative for the body,” he said. “I know the sport is a business and creating these courts is easier than clay or grass, but I am 100 per cent sure it is wrong. I may have to play more on clay than before but there aren’t that many options.”
After contending for the No. 1 ranking earlier this tear, Nadal is now ranked No. 4, a position he should be able to hold on to entering the Australian Open.
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