Rafael Nadal: Comebacks Are Not The Easiest At The Beginning, You Need To Suffer A Little Bit
by Tom Gainey | January 5th, 2015, 10:12 am
  • 42 Comments

Rafael Nadal met the press yesterday in Doha where he reiterated that he’s not expecting much early on in his most recent comeback to tennis.

“The comebacks, at the beginning the feelings are not the best,” Nadal said. “At the beginning you need to suffer a little bit on court. You need to remember all the things that you make it well in the past to have success, and with hard work of every day, try to improve a little bit every day to find the rhythm, to find the way that you really want to play.

“My goals is try to be competitive in every tournament that I gonna play,” he added. “I know that to be competitive in every tournament I gonna play, hopefully not much, but I gonna need small period of time, I hope, hope will be small, because, as I said before, it’s difficult to be back playing against the best players, compete well from beginning is something that almost never happened. So I gonna try to make it as quick as possible, but it’s normal that I’m going to need some time.”

Nadal, who will play doubles today with Juan Monaco, cautioned that this comeback will be different than his remarkable return in 2013.

“The people remember my comeback of 2013, but the truth is I came back in a perfect situation for me and perfect conditions for me, not playing on hard conditions, on clay, 250 tournaments, better and possible for my recover my feelings.

“Today is a different story. The tournament is different. The surface is different. Is difficult to imagine something like happened few years ago.”

As defending champion, Nadal will open singles play on Doha against a qualifier in the Doha first round.

“I’m happy the way that I am. I need time prove, I know that, but that’s normal. But in general I think I am not that bad. I hope to be competitive soon.”


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42 Comments for Rafael Nadal: Comebacks Are Not The Easiest At The Beginning, You Need To Suffer A Little Bit

Michael Says:

I think Rafa is conscious of his age and that he is not young any more which makes come back even tougher. But being the undisputed master of come backs, Rafa has that experience behind him that will put him in good stead. What muddles the water this time around is that he is not playing on clay which might make things a bit more complicated much to Rafa’s liking. Nevertheless he has this capacity to adjust to different situation and therefore lives by the Darwanian theory of survival of the fittest. Although Rafa always tries to minimize expectations yet he knows that if he falters, the sensation obsessed media men will pounce on him to write his obituary in no quick time and so he will be conscious to avoid that embarrassment.


brando Says:

@michael: brilliant and agreeable post. Rafael is just being straight forward, honest and saying what any reasoned mind will find agreeable. But some will obviously still find something wrong with what he’s said here- as per usual regarding them. And the media today- like most fans- are extremely hyperbolic and overreact to just about any and everything. Rafael is right: it will take time, likely more for him this time since hard court is tougher than clay naturally on return.


Yolita Says:

Welll… Even if he starts slowly, at least he beat Wawrinka: that made me VERY happy! ;)


Michael Says:

Thanks Brando. The most difficult thing for a celebrity is effective media management.


skeezer Says:

“Comebacks Are Not The Easiest At The Beginning, You Need To Suffer A Little Bit”.

The ever Humble… now Philosopher…


sienna Says:

bullcrap
comeback after injury are hard. Not after minor surgery and bloodenhancing threatment.
he is fine and just trying to get a feel of hitting and court positioning.
He doesnot care about winning/losing atm.


Felipe Says:

This is not a “comeback”….Del Potro will have a comeback. His last match was at Basel, in October.


Daniel Says:

Well, Nadal eliminated first round in Doha.

Saw last set and Berrer was playing inspired tennis. Whou would have thought that at 34 he would have the biggest win of his career.

Nadal had 3 BP in last game when Berrer served 5-4 where he made 2 double felts felling the pressure.

Now don’t know if Nadal will enter a tourney next week or he will go to Ao where he will play only Jan 19th or 20th with just this 3 matches under his belt. Murray he got a beating and against Wawrinka a good win but you can see Wawrinka was go for lines all the time. Seems Nadal is getting a bit tired and losing power, maybe just more matches needed, but you could see he wanted to return in this match.

Basically can’t see him winning AO not even being a big factor there as expected. Rio is a tournament where he will be expected to win as it is on clay.


brando Says:

@Daniel: correct. This loss has one positive: it shall put a stop to the ridiculous speculation of him winning AO. The guys embarking on a comeback after 6 months off during which he returned to an appendicitis issues. He needs time and if anyone know places him as a AO contender after just losing to a qualifier and being 0/1 for the year then they really are bordering the idiotic with their thinking. His fans know he needs time it’s just a bunch of mugs who are saying he’ll waltz in a game that great immediately. Laughable.


RZ Says:

Berrer is one of those players whom I’m surprised didn’t spend much time in the top 50. I saw him play against James Blake in L.A. 3 years ago and even though he lost in 3 tight sets, he played great. Not top 20 material but really should be in the top 50 for longer than he was. (Having said all that, I’m surprised he beat Rafa. I guess Rafa is still rusty after his injury and illness lay-off from last year).


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Never count out Rafa. Don’t forget that at a Slam he has a week of pigeon matches before he faces any challenges. He could enter week two with three warm-up matches, and then who knows.

Of course he is not a top contender. But aside from Novak and Roger, it’s not obvious who will have better odds. I would pick Murray, Wawrinka, Kei and Cilic right now ahead of Rafa, but he’s still in there with a fighting shot.


brando Says:

@TV: a week of pigeons? Sure darcis, rosol, kyrgios were such pigeons right? Lol: this is a matter of common sense and logic: a player returning after the best part of 6 months off needs time to adjust on court. He’s lost his first match back. No big deal. He’s a match better off from prior to it. But to say he’ll win his next time, a small grand slam in Australia, is purely laughable. He’s got a tough time in week one and is way off being ready for the top players let alone winning a slam. Period! No pessimism, overreaction just common sense!


TennisVagabond.com Says:

To say “He’ll win” would be laughable. That’s not what I said. I said he is on the short list after Novak and Fed.
I would bet on Rafa ahead of Berdych, Raonic, Ferrer or Tsonga.

Consider him a de facto 7th seed.

Certainly Rafa can lose to pigeons. But if he beats three of them, and he may well, he’ll be a feared man in round four.


sienna Says:

he deserves big time pressure on every slam espec. upcomming. No need to downplay his chances because 1 loss.
this was just half hearted in alle slam the result would have been different.

better not underestimate him and ditch him in the first week.


RZ Says:

I don’t think you can ever really count out Rafa. He may not be the favorite but he’d still be on the short list of contenders for any tournament he enters. (Same for Fed, Djoker, and Muzzard).


brando Says:

Ahead of those guys? Come now TV you know those are not even contenders at all. May as well says he’s got a better chance than delpo: whose out at home. This has Novak written all over it with Federer, Murray, wawrinka and nishikori fighting for the best from the rest tag. Period.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Brando, I would think that after a 14th seed won the last Slam, you would not be so quick to laugh off the possibility of someone unexpected winning again.
We may not be able to predict who or when lightning will strike, but we can say with confidence that lightning DOES, and WILL AGAIN someday, strike.


brando Says:

@TV: rankings got nothing to do with it. Your comparing a player who was on tour, played grand slam QF a mere or so ago, losing in 5 sets to a player who’s returning after 6 injury mirred months and lost his first match back to a 34 year old. Soo much similarity right? Lol. Seriously TV I am surprised a smart guy like yourself is posting such OTT proclamations. We can all reach for analogies, sayings, some stat to stand on even if a poor one but common sense, mind and reason is there for a reason: I cide with Rafael. Yes a honest individual whose said that he’ll need time to get in the groove. Thinking for myself: I completely agree. You do not find your best game just like that. Andy Murray played him a few days ago and called rafa rusty. It showed today. He’ll need time to get to his usual level, but there’s not enough to do so at AO: and a grand slam championship is a different level to any other. I am surprised a poster of your high ilk cannot compute such a simple rationale.


Daniel Says:

I am with Brando here. Most are couting Rafa in just by his name. What matters is form, confidence and etc.

Last year Wawrinka was dying to beat Novak and on a verge of that. Cilic was having decent results and piss of at ATP.

Nadal seems not fit, not confident and with no conviction. The Nadla of before would bever misses a chance to break when his oponent made 2 DF serving for the match. He missed 2 returnable returns when 15-40. He lacks matches to boost all aspects of his game. Expect that he will face basically no competition in AO to maybe have a 1 day when everything is clicking is too much with the players out there.
We can say he is in the 10 lot of players who can win AO but I think his chances are less then 5%.


Ben Pronin Says:

And when Nadal makes the semis, finals, or wins the whole thing it’ll be “oh Rafa, what a hero! You perserved through the trenches of hell and came out a champion! You are our God, Rafa!”

Give me a break. Counting Nadal in purely on name? Nadal wouldn’t be playing in Australia if he didn’t feel like he has a chance to win it. Downplaying his chances is nothing new. If he skips it, then we’ll know for sure that he’s not ready. It’s his MO, always has been.


brando Says:

@Daniel: eh……. I kind off agree. I see it like this: to compare him to his past, peak right now is just pure folly. Ridiculously even. But to pose him as a slam contender due to his surname is an equally ridiculous exaggerated thought process. His reality is clear: he’s a injured player whose making a return back after 6 months. Of course he’s going to be rusty, lacking in sharpness, not playing the key points well. It’s not called a return or comeback for nothing. So a struggles early on is always expect. Some say his past comebacks: even that is ridiculous evidence. It took him months to win a title after his knee operation in 2009. Months on tour. In 2013 he lost his first event back and barely won in Sao Paolo. All on clay. And even then he struggled at Monte Carlo that year, and was not playing fluently most the time. So even his comebacks show he struggles early on. So to say he’s in a crisis would be idiotic: early struggles are normal for a returning player. But would be idiotic I believe is to say he’s going to win a grand slam in his 2nd event and is at least a contender. I am sorry but that’s outright stupidity for me. All because of a players surname: even though the player himself calls its idiocy to expect so much so soon. Truly the stuff of idiocy. I’m a firm of Rafael, a positive one and right now a r16 result would be an outstanding feat for him considering his present scenario. Sure it’s nothing to right home about or his standard, but I care not the headlines nor the past. His present is all that’s matter and in his 2nd event at the high level of a slam against match sharp, hungry players a round 16 would be a excellent result and great step inv the right direction. But even that’s too far ahead to look at since winning grand slam is not an easy task. Yet some say he’s a title contender: the stuff of idiocy. Sorry but it really is.


brando Says:

@Ben pronin: that posts speaks more on how suspiciously you view Nadal as opposed to an accurate, fair assessment of his situation. 10/10 for consistency in posting such impressive opinions oozing great rationale. Not.


skeezer Says:

Counting Rafa not to win? Wow, this guy has overcome many difficulties and proved he can win. Now his fans are down playing his chances? Sounds like Rafael Nadal.
I’ll believe their is a problem when/if he loses to another qualifier @AO.
Boy/Cry/Wolf


brando Says:

And as soon as you address Tom, dick comes running right on cue and waffle some drivel.


Ben Pronin Says:

Brando, you’re so funny. Really, it’s just hilarious reading your drivel.

Bottom line:

When Brando talks about Djokovic’s chances for an upcoming event, it’s praise-be-Djokovic, Master of Tennis! Give him the trophy! There’s NO WAY he can lose!

After a loss? Chokovic!! Can’t handle the pressure! Pathetic wannabe champion! Losing to top 10 ranked scrub like Wawrinka? Unacceptable!!

Federer? He’s old, he’s a great champion who loves getting his butt whupped by Nadal, but he’s definintely super great. He’s especially great at losing to Nadal, but super great nonetheless. Loses to Nadal all the time. But he’s old and great.

And finally, Nadal. Prior to an event? NO CHANCE. There’s NO WAY Nadal can POSSIBLY win this event. There is simlpy NO FREAKING WAY NADAL CAN WIN THIS EVENT!

If he loses? See! He has no match practice! Long injury layoff, no match practice. Lack of match practice. At least he got some match practice!

If he wins? Hahahaha told you guys! See, Nadal is the greatest great that’s ever been great. I knew he would win. I knew it all along. Ignore all my previous posts about no chance because I DEFINITELY KNEW HE WOULD WIN! Mwahaha.


brando Says:

And before the baby puts his dummy back in his mouth: what do I say when Nadal faces Federer Ben seeing as seem to know my views oh so well?


KatH Says:

This time it will take Nadal longer to attain his usual high standard. We hear a lot of Roger’s bad back, Nole’s family changes as reasons that may explain short term lack of success – but Nadal has had surgery (so did Murray; so has Del Potro et al) – surgery is quite different – it takes an infinitely longer time for full recovery to take place. Don’t write Nadal off (or others who have had surgery) – just wait and see.


Brando Says:

@KatH:

Great post and I completely agree.

As I said earlier:

It’s ridiculous to read too much into his loss and extrapolate from it to what it does not warrant. To write him off as a done deal- bizarrely as some are already doing when I first saw this on the ATP website.

It is what it is: first match back post surgery, injury on his return.

Yet, it’s equally ridiculous to label him a contender for his 2nd event back after such issues and when he could even muster a win in his first event.

One would think a reasoned position to take: but this site is so infested with some ridiculous posters who say ‘erroneous, Brando’s being devious posting such thinking and we know Rafa’s upto his scheme’s of no good’.

It’s best ignore those idiots as that’s what they do all the time on here: ****h about Rafa. Must be their favourite past time I hope for their sake since it’s such a continuous activity with them.

People with common sense will agree with my thinking: it’s the only option for a rationale mind.

Those who are prone to suspicion, harbouring thoughts about a devious Nadal, fantasist’s etc will argue otherwise and pose a foolish take on how he’s a contender.

Truthfully speaking I fear the worst:

He’s just lost to a qualifier. He may experience a greater low and lose to Federer next!

p


skeezer Says:

@Ben,
That was on point. It was like Curry with a double back dribble then blowing by 3 guys for an easy layup.


brando Says:

“then blowing by 3 guys for an easy layup”: trust our skeezie to be the one posting such thoughts. Suppose it explains the fondness for posting about rafa’s butt all the time.


jane Says:

It’s hard to say, but Rafa has lost relatively early before at pre-slam events and has then gone on to win the slam. Like RZ says, it seems rash to count him out as a contender at the least, be it 5th favourite, 7th, or whatever. Age is more of a factor than now than it was in the past for Rafa, true, but he’s still only 28. Rafa always brings his best at the slams, and he has the first week to play into form as Tennis Vagabond notes.


jane Says:

katH “just wait and see…” indeed, and like you say don’t write him off either. makes sense!


skeezer Says:

“Suppose it explains the fondness for posting about rafa’s butt all the time.”
What are you talking about? Your the one who brought up BUTTS, not me. Quit driveling.


brando Says:

wonder what would be said if this was Djokovic instead of Nadal in this situation about to play his favourite slam Australian Open. Oh I know: he’s doomed. After all, when a poster spends their entire time on here downplaying his chances on hard court against the likes of the mighty granollers, even getting mistaken for being a Djokovic hater due to the incessant negativity posted his way despite being a fan, yet -as always- expects the best from others no matter how bad their scenario, and no matter how often for less they write pessimistically for Djokovic. Can I argue against those who labeled such posters as double standard applying hypocrites? Nope.


brando Says:

@4.25: please, there has never been a poster who talks about rafa’s behind as often as you do. It’s ridiculous. You Yap about it like some talk of their dream destination. Seeing as its so frequently on your mind maybe rafa might let your head take a trip up his butt no?


skeezer Says:

^Moderators Admin pahleasee?


Brando Says:

go ahead if you wish so moderators, one just hopes that the same moderation is applied when the one who poodles after me like lassie, next labels a nadal fan as a butt loving fanatic that too gets moderated since it really is-seemingly- their primitive thought about why a fan roots for nadal.

Not to mention their sexism in considering every nadal fan to be a women and that too induced by his appearance not his tennis.


skeezer Says:

Brando,
Lets get one thing straight. My 3:46 post was a reference to the NBA, Steph Curry, and his latest highlight go to run at the Basket to score 2 points in his last game against OKL Thunder. A metaphor to his most excellent post. Ben also a fan of the NBA.
Now I see you had know idea what I was talking about, so you went right to the BUTT.
LOL….


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Brando, for the love of Lendl, try to stop repeating yourself so much in every post. Assume we read the first one. You’re not getting paid by the word here.


dari Says:

Laparoscopic appendectomy on an appendix he played tennis with get outta here with that surgery comparison, KatH 😂
Delpo had wrist surgery. Andy had back surgery. No comparison.

Who knows what Rafa will do.he’s rusty, BH it rested, and hes made that work for his benefit many times before.


dari Says:

That should say *but he is* rested, not BH ?!


KatH Says:

To Dari – In addition to the Appendix, Nadal also had stem implants. PS: Nadal is not my favourite player but in fairness he should be given the same consideration that is given to other players (often when they don’t deserve it).I’m not

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