Insights from Roger Federer's Former Coach on Rafael Nadal's Comeback Strategy


Insights from Roger Federer’s Former Coach on Rafael Nadal’s Comeback Strategy

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Renowned coach Jose Higueras has weighed in on Rafael Nadal’s cautious approach to his return, emphasizing the Spaniard’s realistic mindset. Last week, Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley created a buzz by confirming Nadal’s participation. However, Nadal’s PR team swiftly clarified that his Australian Open status wasn’t set in stone. In response, Nadal expressed gratitude for the confidence shown by the Australian Open, affirming his commitment to rigorous training.

Higueras, who briefly collaborated with Roger Federer in 2008, believes Nadal is avoiding premature commitments to ensure he doesn’t find himself in an uncomfortable position.

“Obviously, it will be a great situation if we see Rafa coming back at the Australian (Open) and then being able to play a good amount of the schedule through the year. At the same time, I think Rafa is fully realistic and cautious. I understand that he has only been hitting balls for a couple of weeks and not full workouts. Yes, progressively, he is getting his body into the workout mode. Practicing and playing matches are two different things. I think, at Rafa’s age everything is possible. It is possible that he (Nadal) comes back and is able to play a good amount through the schedule. It is possible that he comes back and he has another setback. So, I am cautiously optimistic,” Higueras shared on the Courtside: The US Open podcast.

In June, Nadal underwent surgery to repair his psoas muscle injury. Since then, he has diligently returned to gym work and resumed practice sessions. While Nadal won’t be participating in any tournaments for the remainder of the 2023 season, he remains dedicated to being in prime form for the onset of the 2024 season.

The tennis world eagerly awaits to see if Nadal will be prepared to launch his 2024 campaign in time, potentially marking his Grand Slam return at the Australian Open.


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