Rafael Nadal Hopes To Be 100% By The Clay Season, Doesn’t Expect To Win Australian Open
by Tom Gainey | December 5th, 2012, 12:54 pm

In an interview with ABC Spanish radio Tuesday, Rafael Nadal revealed some of his hopes when he finally returns from a knee injury in the next month.

Nadal, who hasn’t played since a shock Wimbledon loss to Lukas Rosol last June, admitted that he’s not thinking about winning the Australian Open, rather focusing on getting back to 100% for his favorite clay season and French Open title defense.

“I would like to return in January,” Nadal said via Reuters. “I don’t expect to return and win the Australian Open, I have to be realistic. The results will not worry me in the first tournaments back.

“I have to take into account my form after so long out. It wouldn’t bother me if I slipped down to 15th in the world as long as inside I knew was able to continue.

“I want to be 100 percent in time for Monte Carlo and the run-up to Roland Garros.”

Nadal is still scheduled to play in the Abu Dhabi, Doha and then the Australian Open. Rafa did not rule out Davis Cup either after Australia. And he remains intent on playing Acapulco in February. He added that his recovery was going as planned and surgery on his knee was an earlier consideration, an option that was fortunately avoided.

Coach and Uncle Toni Nadal also said that Rafa’s rehab is on track, but the team will proceed with caution.

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71 Comments for Rafael Nadal Hopes To Be 100% By The Clay Season, Doesn’t Expect To Win Australian Open

Chichiback Says:

Finally Toni is doing the right thing.

the DA Says:

Even though he has been out for 6 or so months, I can’t imagine him not reaching the QFs at the AO. A lot will depend on the draw of course but Nadal is the last player I would rule out of being in contention.

alison Says:

As much as i love Rafa,i can see why sometimes people can get rather annoyed with the fake humility,however i think on this rare occasion its sensible and not misplaced,after all come the AO in January it will be 7 months since he last played competitivly,so for he and his fans to expect immediate success would seem unrealistic,he has said hes not so worried about his results on his 1st tourneys back,and is thinking of his career long term,he says i dont want to rush things and risk been injured again in a few months,hes starting to thing of longevity in his career,seems like hes sole focus is on winning the FO for the 8th time,and the history of been the 1st player to win a GS for 9 straight years,although i dont know if thats a good thing from the point of view of just putting all his eggs into the CC season basket,from the point of view of a long term career his team have got this spot on IMO anyway.

Brando Says:

Seems SPOT ON to me!

Good luck with your comeback rafa!

skeezer Says:

I’m with DA on this, and it is an expected quote from him and his camp, downplaying his chances as usual…….he doesn’t like it at the top, nor expectations there of….he is a hunter….not a leader of the pack.

This guy has won 11 Slams, it shouldn’t take long for him to get into form once healthy…..

alison Says:

Skeezer ill agree to disagree,hes been out for a long time and to expect to just bounce back,seems unrealistic IMO,hes actually said pretty much what ive been thinking,he may spring a surprise at the AO who knows?but for now it will be great to just see him playing again,just small steps will do to start with,i wont consider it a dissapointment with whatever happens on his return.

Thangs Says:

rafa always downgrade his chances…no worries, I am still hoping for a best return. Even in 2012 AO, rafa was not in good shape at the beginning. Vamos!

Alok Says:

He’ll come back when he feels he can go deep. I doubt he’d want to deal emotionally with another 2nd round exit as at Wimbledon.

Wog boy Says:

I think I said it before just to repeat, Rafa will be right for AO and I expect him to make SF and then we will see if he is ready for any of the top three.
Abu Dhabi and Doha will bring him to 80-90% of his best, few good matches in the first few rounds of AO and that is it:)

dari Says:

Reason says rafa won’t be able to fight through a 7 round draw after 6 month lay-off, but we all know rafa don’t follow reason.
All players will need to bring their A game for rafa, even after all this time- the knees may hurt, but the torro spirit shall not die!

tennisfansince76 Says:

I don’t think Nadal is being falsely modest here. being in great physical condition not enough. match play is very important mentally and physically. I will be quite impressed if Nadal manages to win the AO. it will really be an accomplishment were he to do so.

Nims Says:

Nadal would most likely reach the semis of the tournaments he plays. Even in 2009 after his return, he reached semis of almost all tournaments, but ended up facing Novak in many of them.

It would depend on the draw. If he faces Roger in the semis, it would be certain that he would be in the finals. Then anything can happen.

I would still consider him a favourite there after Novak and Murray.

skeezer Says:

Historically, its all about the easy draw for Rafa to go deep in Slams. Minus Rosol, Rafa goes deep most everytime at Slams with the “nice” draw.

moam Says:

Had Lukas Rosol not shocked both Nadal and the tennis world with his dominant upset of Nadal in the 2012 Wimby, who knows what the remainder of the season would have brought. Maybe Murray wouldn’t have won the Olympic gold or the US Open etc.
But Rosol pulled off the stunner and will always be known for that accomplishment.


Keeping my fingers crossed that Nadal is able to be back in the mix in January as he expects. He adds so much additional intrigue to the game.

Tennis Guy Says:

With Federer on the wane and murray always laying an egg against Rafa. the only real threat to rafa’s chances are djokovic. If novak can reproduce his 2011 form, rafa will not win a grandslam in 2013. that includes the french open!

he is not going to beat djokovic in another slam, unless djokovic helps him by playing sub-par tennis like he did at Roland Garros, this year. Unlike with federer, the slower conditions of melbourne or miami actually tilt the nadal-djokovic match up in djokovic’s favour.

If I am not mistaken, djokovic is 3-0 against nadal in melbourne and miami. 5-1 if you also include indianwells.

Looking ahead, you can safely say djokovic is the superior player of the 2. If djokovic is serious about his legacy, this is the year to crush nadal. you give him another 7-0 whooping and djokovic is certain to end his career as the 2nd greatest player of this era. AT THE LEAST!

Giles Says:

Let’s wait and see who is going to do the whooping and crushing!! #VamosRafa

Nadalista Says:

@Tennis Guy;

Thanks for getting the excuses in early, now we know…………

alison Says:

Giles great picture,i cannot wait either.

Thangs Says:

/*With Federer on the wane and murray always laying an egg against Rafa. the only real threat to rafa’s chances are djokovic. If novak can reproduce his 2011 form, rafa will not win a grandslam in 2013. that includes the french open!*/

if nole could get back to 2011, why can’t reproduce his 2010 form….

Thangs Says:

i mean if nole could get back to 2011, why can’t rafa reproduce his 2010 form

alison Says:

Thangs well exactly,it would be foolish to write a player like Rafa off,its all just based on assumptions and mere speculations,people are quick to assume that Rafa has so much to worry about with Nole and fair enough he does,but that could also work the other way around too,and what about Murray,whos to say he wont go on a Djokovic type tear,and have a Djokovic type year,Rafas not the only player who has to worry about another player,im sure Novak will now be looking over his shoulder too,it would be wise to just wait and see.

Tennis Guy Says:

Well, Djokovic reproduced his 2011 in 2012…. but Rafa did not reproduce his 2010… did he?

We will see. My money is on djokovic to win more GS than rafa, by the time they are done with their careers!

Tennis Guy Says:

Another thing, all things considered

Novak is a superior hardcourt and indoor player than rafa.

On Grass, it’s close but Nole edges that. Go check their 3 matches. the 2007 wimbledon match, Novak was beating the pants off rafa, when Novak had to withdraw due to blisters on his foot. [he had played 2 brutal matches in 2consecutive days before that]

Clay: Rafa is better.

Overall – Novak is the better player.

Giles Says:

Tennis Guy. The question is can you afford to go bankrupt??

alison Says:

Fair enough your entitled to your opinion,we are just giving ours,and like i say whos to know Rafa/Delpo/Murray etc wont go on a run of their own,domination aint necassarily a forever thing,i dont base the future on what happened in the past,as no one knows about the future,its wiser to just wait and see,its fine to speculate,but at the moment thats all it is speculation,just saying.

alison Says:

^Above post to Tennis Guy^.

alison Says:

Giles thankyou,one word springs to mind,stunning.

alison Says:

Personally i have never seen the point in bringing up ifs,buts,would haves,could haves,or should haves,or blaming lady luck,all players have good luck and bad luck sometimes thats life,tennis is pretty much cut and dried the winner wins and the loser loses,you have what you have,and what you could have had is meaningless,and what you may have in the future is speculation,Novak may surpass Rafa who knows?Rafa may surpass Roger again who knows?But the thing is ATM Roger has 17 GS,Rafa has 11 GS,and Novak has 5 GS,and its as simple as that really.

Giles Says:

alison. That is what the tennis world has been deprived of over the last 5 months!! #Brilliancy

alison Says:

Giles the tennis world has been deprived of Rafas Brilliancy granted,but theres still been other players brilliancy too.

alison Says:

Giles ah so cute,Hewitt junior is a massive Rafa fan,lol who knew.

Giles Says:

Alison. “but there’s still been other players brilliancy too” . Really? I Havnt been watching! Lol

subo Says:

rafeal nadal is not hurt he was given a silent doping banned from the itf at wimbldon the press are protecting nadal big time he is a fruad and cheat

alison Says:

Giles fair enough thats your choice,ill leave it at that.

alison Says:

Subo i cant put my finger on it,i think i saw a post once when you said you were a Federer fan,is that correct? i have to say its so difficult to tell,as you only turn up on this forum,on the odd occasion to remind us of your distain for Rafa,which is fair enough if you dont like the guy,but its exactly the same post everytime,id be really interested to see you send in a post on a player you do like,Rogers achievements/Novaks achievements,come on indulge us id be so interested to know,after all its a tennis forum,and Rogers achievements are amazing,why not talk about that?

Brando Says:

‘Historically, its all about the easy draw for Rafa to go deep in Slams. Minus Rosol, Rafa goes deep most everytime at Slams with the “nice” draw.’

Love the FAIRNESS of that post!

It’s true, without a CAKEWALK draw rafa can NEVER get deep in a GS!

It’s a bit like federer you see- historically speaking the following:

1- Had he not had an over 30 Agassi, one dimensional Hewitt, Roddick and an erratic Safin he would have NEVER- historically speaking- dominated and won 4 slams pre F0 2005. Historically speaking of course!

2- Had rafa not got knocked out early fed would have NEVER WON F0 2009- since HISTORICALLY SPEAKING, of course, rafa whoops his butt there! ONLY history tells me this particular point.

I’m ONLY speaking HISTORICALLY of course- not providing a personal opinion, just musing over common consent!

NOTHING SOUR or petty- just like the highlighted rafa comment- STRICTLY historical facts- not presenting a PERSONAL opinion as a fact!

Of course not- that would be wrong to do so- historically speaking of course!

jamie Says:

Have you noticed the AO winner has been the #1 or #3 seed since 2006?

2006 #1 won the AO

2007 #1 won the AO

2008 #3 won the AO

2009 #1 won the AO

2010 #1 won the AO

2011 #3 won the AO

2012 #1 won the AO

More reason to believe either Nole or Andy will win the AO.

Fedal have no chance.

Vidzy Says:

My predictions for next year finalists and winners of slams based on current form/ confidence/preparation/fitness/ideal conditions( eg: non rainy RG court which makes it faster obviously, no indoors at Wimbledon like 2012, etc) :

1) Australian Open : Murray vs Nole/Rafa depending upon draw.
Winner : Murray.
Reason: Though Nole is current no. 1 and 2 time defending champ and and at peak of confidence level from WTF victory I still think this time its Andy’s time to turn the tables and he will finally win the Aussie open. Andy is the winner of last slam and Olympics and he simply loves the conditions in Melbourne.He was extremely close this year and may be a couple of points away from victory in semis, lost 7-5 in 5th set. I dont think Federer can trouble him on these slow courts now as Andy is a different player from 2010. Rafa is back after almost 6-7 months and i dont see him take out either Andy or Nole as he might play a bit cautiously this time as I see his main goal will be to defend RG and take the year there onwards and have may be a shot at wimbledon, though Rafa reaching the finals wont be surprise to me here.

2) Roland Garros :
Final: Nole vs Rafa ( if they are in different draws)
Winner: Djokovic
If Rafa and Nole meet in finals again I put my money on Nole this time to finally take the Bull down. if they meet in semis I see rafa comfortably through. Nole will be in a different mental level if he faces rafa and reaches another RG final with an opportunity to finally win his career slam. Nole loves facing Rafa more than Andy or Federer due to his recent success against him. Though rafa is almost invincible at RG, I have a feeling Nole will stretch that extra bit this time and finally win RG.

3) Wimbledon :
Final: Federer vs Murray (
Winner: Murray

Though I am a hard core federer fan i do think last year federer was helped little bit by the indoor conditions. Murray was feeling pressure to win his first slam in front of home fans , this time it will be different. We might see a more aggressive muzza than ever on grass. My prediction has nothing to do with his win over federer at olympics as federer was emotionally drained and he was not the real fed there. Murray is at his peak and though it might go 5 sets. Same goes if he faces rafa in finals. though he last all his matches against rafa on grass , murray is a different player now.

4) US Open :
Finals : Federer vs Murray/ Nole
Winner : Federer

Though according to many experts the conditions at the Open have slowed down since 2010 and federer has not win this title for the longest time as compared to other 3 slams , I still feel federer’s best chance to win a slam now is at the Open. The court is still medium paced and faster then aussie . An aggressive federer is most dangerous on these courts and I believe regardless of result at wimbledon ,Federer will be motivated more than ever to win a 6th US crown .

These are just my vague predictions and based on the draws obviously the finalists could change. I am new on this form . I hope you guys down thrash me ;)

jamie Says:


Federer is done winning slams. Wimbledon 2012 was Federer’s swan song. His career has come full circle at the slams.

skeezer Says:


Fairness has nothig to do with that post. There wasn’t any comparisan implied. But since you brought it up;

1), You camparin Safin, Agassi, Roddick, Hewitt to Rosol? Sides, i was talking about through the draw, not semis and finals.

2) What does this have to do with my post? Rafa never got to play Fed cause he got walloped by Sod, who on paper should have beaten Sod(he was the 23rd seed). But he couldn’t do it. He never earned his way to meet Fed there. Fed was waiting but Rafa was a no show. Rest his history and his 14th Slam.

jamie Says:

Federer is not going to win a slam at 32. Only player to win a slam so old in the past 30 years was Agassi in the clown era where you had the likes of Costa, Johansson and Ivanišević, Ferrero and Roddick winning slams. And the likes of In the current era the top players are too strong to let a 32 year old fluke a slam.

jamie Says:

The current top players won’t let a 32 year old win a slam. We are not in 2002/2003 anymore.

Tennis fan Says:

To Jamie

Stop writing Roger off, Roger will win another Grand Slam. You too obsessive with Murray and Djokovic. Murray won’t win another Slam. Djokovic is too lucky with draws.

We have to see who win Grand Slams and what the horoscopes tell us.

Well we already had predictions for Australian Open. I won’t say who.

You can write Roger off at your own peril. I will never write Roger off.

jamie Says:

As for 2013 slam winners, my crystal ball is telling me:

Australian Open winner: Nole. First man to win 3 consecutive AO in the open era.

Roland Garros winner: Nadal. This will be his swan song. No more slam wins after this.

Wimbledon winner: Andy. A summer of celebration in Great Britain.

USO winner: Nole. He regains the USO. This is his most consistent slam, SF and finals since 2007.

jamie Says:

@Tennis fan

LOL. Olderer will not win anymore slams. He got lucky at Wimbledon with a roof in the SF and final. Next year he will not get lucky. Murray will be the winner. It is written in the stars.

Tennis fan Says:


Your predictions have been wrong. You have again written Roger off. You are very obsessive on Nole.. Why don’t you appreciate Roger Jamie as you seem to think Roger is too old… You are a nole fan who don’t like Roger.

Jamie you are not psychic.

jane Says:

That picture of Hewitt’s little boy is very cute; but he looks a lot like his mother methinks!

jamie Says:

Tennis fan is a deluded Fedtard.

Olderer is not winning a slam at 32 or at 33 or ever again. Period. Your prediction of Olderer winning at the USO is hilarious!

NOLE WILL WIN THE 2013 USO. End of story.

Thomas Says:

Didn’t you say that del potro would win the USO and Murray would win the AO earlier?

Tennis fan Says:


How rude to say that I am a Fedtard, you are too obessive about Nole. You want everything to be perfect for Nole.

All I am saying why don’t you give Roger some respect as he is a legend a rarity. I don’t like Nole but respect his achievements you should do the same for Roger.


Jamie is too obsessive with Nole. His predictions have been wrong. We have to wait and see who wins Grand Slams next year.

Ben Pronin Says:

Tennis fan, Federer is overrated.

courbon Says:

@Vidzy-Welcome to the blog!

courbon Says:

@Jamie-as a Novaks fan I’m supose to like your predctions and posts, but I don’t.Because:
1.Predictions are for fun-you take it seriously
2.You have been WRONG MANY TIMES!
3.You keep calling Federe OLD and similair, and he is 31!Which tell me that you must be of very young age, so I don’take serious your disrespect towards the probably greatest player ever…

jamie Says:

Olderer is done winning slams. End of story.

skeezer Says:

Jamie is done winning predictions. End of story.

courbon Says:

@Skeezer-Federe you should take a notice of Jamies predictions and change his schedule-not play GS and play some 250 events instead…

Tennis Guy Says:

Jamie was singing the same tune at the end of 2011. that federer is done. no GS, no return to no.1

Go check the archives. Jamie is a joker even the nole fans have disowned. LOL!

jane Says:

jamie said recently that Murray is his favourite. I don’t know; I really can’t tell.

While I would NEVER hold my breath, I certainly wouldn’t mind if jamie’s predictions about Murray winning Wimbledon and Nole winning 2 slams in 2013 come true. ;)

alison Says:

Its not the actual predictions of Jamies that i find offensive,TBH i just take them with a pinch of salt now,what i do find annoying is when H/S talks about them as though they are bona fide facts,and calls other players and other posters names because they happen to have a difference of opinion,i think as Jane said H/S is a Murray fan but its hard to tell,as the posts seem very Nole biased,a case of hero worshipping gone way to far,H/S is no Nostradamus,but just like the rest of us,and the one thing we all know is that we all know nothing,best to wait and see what happens.

Arun Says:

@Vidzy i agree with all your predictions.i too feel that the USO is federer’s best chance to get his 18th.barring this year he was pretty close in 2009-11.if he dosent face berdych,he has a pretty good chance considering he came within one point of beating the current hc king and considering he’s never lost to murray in a major.plus this is rafa’s worst slam.so his best chance to win is here.As a Federer fan id love it if he wins atleast one more major because: 1)another A0 win will mean he will have 5 A0’s(stand alone open era record),2)another FO and he will complete a double career slam,another wimbledon will mean he has a stand alone open era record(8) and another uso will also be a stand alone open era record(6).

Lenny Says:

@ Tennis Guy The numbers right now speak pretty clearly of who in the 2nd greatest player of the era. 11 GS titles vs 5 31 MS titles vs 13. And before you roll out the tired “Most of Rafa’s titles are on clay” crap, well, most of Nole’s are on hard. Every player has a win record skewed in favour of a particular surface. Yes, Rafa has 2 years more on the pro tour than Nole, so we’ll check back in a couple of years.

alison Says:

Lenny great post,totally agree,Novak may well overtake Rafa in terms of career achievements,who knows?and Rafa may overtake Rogers career achievements who knows?Andy may overtake Novaks achievements again who knows?but ATM they have what they have,and what they could have is mere speculation at this point,and nothing else.

madmax Says:

Goodness TG,

You say you are a federer fan? You are a mighty angry one!

Exhibition match in Brazil. Fed lost to Belluci. He gave an interview about a week ago, was asked about “Legend or Fact”, the question was “you are going to be playing Tomas Belluci in Brazil, is it legend or fact that you will beat him? Fed answered. “Legend”, saying it has to happen some time!

Today was the day!

Fed is becoming like Jamie, except his predictions come true!

Haven’t seen the match yet, so if any of you have, could you comment on what you saw? I know it was a 3 setter and fed has had a youtube channel set up for all his exhibition matches, I just missed it today.

Ben Pronin Says:

Madmax, it was an exho. Pretty much tells you everything you need to know. They were both having some fun out there. I caught parts of every set and it was just basically them trying out funky shots (especially Federer).

Thangs Says:


AO: Murray
RG: Nadal
Wimby: Nadal
US: Nole or Murray

madmax Says:


thanks for that!

I am going to watch him on youtube now. I love fed doing the exhibitions. It is the chance he has to try out shots and really to have some fun.

I get the impression too now that he plays these shots and doesn’t mind if the opponent wins. He has never lost against Belluci, and for some reason, (looking at fed’s after picture), he looks happy. A bit ironic really, since he lost!

Wish I could be there to watch him!

Any South Americans here who can comment on TX?

madmax Says:

jamie Says:
Olderer is done winning slams. End of story.

December 6th, 2012 at 12:17 pm

skeezer Says:
Jamie is done winning predictions. End of story.

December 6th, 2012 at 12:36 pm


do you have to spoil the party with predictions every time? what if others here predicted stuff about your favourite, like rafa is “done” winning slams or novak is “done” winning slams?

Why can’t you enjoy the competition and just be glad that none of know what is going to happen in the future?

Del potro was “done” a year ago after his wrist injury. Federer was “done” winning anything in 2008. Murray was “done” and would always be behind everyone else. “Novak” would always be no. 2 and “never” accomplish more than that.

You are the only predictable one here with your comments. They are just boring now. I comment here because I hope against hope that you could just be quiet to allow some proper discussion.

May be you should sttay on your astrology site, for a change?

Consider that won’t you?

Good batting skeezer.

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