After Injury-Riddled 2014, Rafael Nadal Says He’ll Start New Year Off “Cautiously”
by Staff | January 1st, 2015, 3:16 pm

During a news conference Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Rafael Nadal admitted that after an injury-riddled 2014, he’ll begin the new season on a cautious note.

“I know I am not going to arrive here and play a really high level of tennis,” Nadal told the Gulf News. “Injuries have been a part of my career, so I have to start off cautiously and the first two weeks of the season will help me to regain the physical and tennis feel, and the rhythm, needed on court.”

“From the Australian Open, going through the South American swing and heading into Roland Garros is the hardest part of the season for me, and that’s where I need to be at 100%,” he added.

Nadal suffered through a bad back during the Australian Open final, then injured his right wrist last summer before undergoing an appendectomy this past November.

Nadal will play Andy Murray tomorrow in Abu Dhabi. Next week he’s scheduled to join Novak Djokovic in Doha.

You Might Like:
Rafael Nadal Is Training Hard For 2015 [Video]
Nicolas Almagro’s 2014 Season Is Reportedly Over, He’ll Undergo Foot Surgery On Monday
Nikolay Davydenko: The Fans May Miss Nadal But Not The Players
Roger Federer Shows Up at the Super Bowl
Rafael Nadal Optimistic For 2019 Despite Withdrawing From Third Place Abu Dhabi Match

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get the FREE TX daily newsletter

17 Comments for After Injury-Riddled 2014, Rafael Nadal Says He’ll Start New Year Off “Cautiously”

jane Says:

i just saw rafa’s schedule for the first half of the year; he has not cut back at all. at this point he’s playing 2 more events than nole is during the period from the beginning of the season until roland garros; mainly it’s the south american swing that adds more events; it used to be he’d just add barcelona.

Wog Boy Says:

By the time of FO Rafa will be playing two tournaments more than Nole and yet they are saying (Rafa and Toni) they are not interesting in #1, what a load of crap, Don Toni is very cunning person, don’t trust him a word! Even if Rafa skips few tournaments at the end of the year he will not have any less tournaments than Nole or most of top players, but if he has shot at #1 he might play them all, he is not cuting back anything.

Nirmal Kumar Says:

I believe the reduced schedule would be post Wimby. Historically, Rafa’s peak has been the 1st half of the season.

jane Says:

perhaps nirmal; that makes sense. he doesn’t usually play too much post-wimby. the 2 hard court masters, us open, then maybe a few others after the us open. perhaps he will skip one of the post us open masters – paris or shanghai – or perhaps he’ll skip the orient altogether? hard to say. he’s entitled to a free pass on 1 masters at this point (or 2 if he’s played 12 years, which i don’t think he has yet). it’ll be interesting to see when his full schedule comes out what they decide. in 2014, even though rafa missed so much, he played 19 events whereas nole played only 17.

if toni and rafa are serious about extending nadal’s career, not worrying excessively about ranking, and protecting him from injury, one would think they’ll cut back somewhere. what are there? 15 compulsory tournaments? plus with being able to skip one masters, that means he could -feasibly anyhow – get away with playing just 14.

jane Says:

actually if nadal turned pro in 2001, perhaps he could skip 2 masters (for 600+ matches and 12 years service).

Wog Boy Says:

If one plays 11 tournaments in the first five months (7 clay and 4 slow to medium fast HC) ofcourse he can pick and chose which one is he going play in the next seven months and call it reduced scheduling, considering one can count points from only 18 tournaments (methinks), regardless how many he plays. By the time Wimbledon comes Rafa will already have 11 tournaments played, for the next seven months he can play one each month, reduced scheduling;)

Wog Boy Says:

If he plays Halle or Queens before Wimbledon he will have 12 tournaments played, injury prone player that plays 2,5 tournaments a month in the first five months of the year..and doesn’t care about #1 anymore!

Tom Says:

Does anybody knwo anything about his teatment? I only knew he was cured by a new and innovative stem cell treatment, but I can’t find more information about this kind of treatment.
Would be happy, if anybody has more information.

Felipe Says:

He cares about the ranking. Dont you remenber the HUGE celebration (Nadal and his camp)once he beat Wawrinka at the WTF 2013 to clinch the year end number 1 over Djokovic?. He says this to diminish the importance of been number 1, which means, DOMINATING a particular sport for a great period of time. Nadal is a dominating clay court player, but he could not dominate THE TOUR in his early years 2005-2009 (Because of Federer) and he could not dominate the tour in his prime (2010-2013)because of Djokvic.Now at 28 (soon to be 29) he knows that he cannot dominate, but he knows that for a short period of time he can be almost unbeatable (Clay).
Soon, Djokovic will have more weeks as number 1 than Nadal, and Djokovic WANTS to be in that spot. He love been the best, and he has always said that,(oppisite to Nadal speech about been competitive) his goal is to be the best as long as possible

Humble Rafa Says:

I am like fine wine. I get better with time on court. I have no choice but to keep playing, so I can get better.

If I get to the second round at Wimbledon, the cows better watch out because I will run them over. Greatest match ever or not.

Okiegal Says:

I personally think he will pull out of one or two of
his scheduled tournaments. I’m sure he will play Indian Wells because of his good friend, but if he pulled the plug on one, I can see Miami being the one…..even though I’m sure he would love to win it once……then clay kicks in… who knows!

To chase number uno or not to chase number uno??? This is the question……LOL…..and really, what difference does it make?? His health is number uno on his list, me thinks…..VAMOS!!

RZ Says:

I posted this question on the thread about the Murray vs. Rafa match, but it probably fit better here. Is the Mubdala expo the best place for Rafa to make his return after his various ailments from last year? One the one hand, he gets to test himself against the top players to see where his game is; on the other hand he doesn’t get to ease back into the tour as he would by, say, playing Brisbane. What do you all think?

skeezer Says:

imo an excellent way to get back to the Tour. An exho has no significant hit on your Tour status/Points/Ranking and he gets to work out/train with some of the top players in the game. And oh, the most important thingy////he gets paid! ;)

lyle nubbins Says:

Gotta hand to the guy, he keeps getting injured and keeps coming back, very difficult, takes a special person to persevere.

skeezer Says:

“His health is number uno on his list”
You mean all the players health is numero uno…no? ;)

the_mind_reels Says:

@RZ: I’m with skeezer on that one. A loss at an exo (which wouldn’t surprise me in Rafa’s case — he’s not battle-tested, it’s a hardcourt, etc.) doesn’t mean anything, either to the player or to the media/fans, so it seems like the smarter place to make a comeback.

Okiegal Says:

@Skeezer……Shouldn’t have left the others out, I know that good health is the most important thing on all their list. The year hasn’t started out too good for some. We’ve had some pull outs already and now Andy felt something today that is new. He was hitting the ball extremely hard…….hoping it’s nothing serious!

Top story: Nadal Powers Into Australian 3R, Thiem Survives; Federer Seeks Revenge On Millman
Most Recent story: Former No. 1s Halep, Kerber, Pliskova Sail Into Australian Open 3R; Osaka v Coco Fri.