Rafael Nadal is scheduled to return to action today in Cincinnati for his opening round match against Pablo Cuevas. It’s Nadal’s second event back from a left wrist injury which forced him out of the French and Wimbledon, and the 30-year-old said in Rio after losing the bronze match to Kei Nishikori that it still wasn’t 100%.
“The wrist is not perfect,” Nadal said Sunday. “It bothers me when I hit the forehand. The serve, the backhand – nothing else bothers me. The truth is, when I hit the forehand, I feel it bothering me a little bit, but without a doubt it’s been a positive week in all aspects. I’ve played for many hours and the wrist at least didn’t get worse.”
Speaking Tuesday in Cincinnati, he was more optimistic: “Looks like after a marathon for me in Olympics that the wrist resisted, so that’s a great news for me.”
“Things happen, and you need to accept and you need to continue,” Nadal said. “That’s what I did, I always have been very positive about the recovery. I am a positive person.”
So why’s he playing this week?
“Keep trying my best in Cincinnati, even if I arrive a little bit tired as you can imagine,” Nadal said. “It’s a big event.
Nadal added that he’s not worried about his poor performance this year in Grand Slams – just two wins!
“I get injury. I was unlucky. But I feel competitive again. I feel with the right motivation,” he told the paper. “I don’t have anymore the feelings I had last year. It’s something that doesn’t worry me much, no? It’s obvious that nobody wins Grand Slams forever, even Federer that have won more than nobody.
“I believe that I am going to keep having chances to win Grand Slams in the future if I am healthy. I have the right confidence that that can happen.”
Nadal and Cuevas played earlier this year in the Rio semifinals with the Uruguayan winning in three sets. Last week in Rio, Nadal played 11 matches in eight days (23 hours of tennis) highlighted by a doubles gold with Marc Lopez.
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