Rafael Nadal


“Good afternoon. I have carried out medical tests after the defeat yesterday,” Nadal revealed after his Australian open exit. “The MRI shows a grade 2 lesion in the iliopsoas of my left leg. Now it’s sports rest and anti-inflammatory physiotherapy. Normal recovery time six to eight weeks.”

The good news is that should everything go to plan, Nadal should be back in good time for the clay season. It is his strongest part of the year by far and he missed much of it last year due to a broken rib he suffered at Indian Wells.

“He will be resting the next days once back in Spain and will start with anti-inflammatory physiotherapy,” a spokesman for the Nadal camp explained. “The normal time estimated for a complete recuperation is between six and eight weeks.”
When will Rafa Nadal be back from injury?
Nadal suffered the injury on 18 January, so let’s look at what possible impact it will all have on his scheduling.

Six weeks from the injury would be March 1, so it’s possible that he could return for Indian Wells. That gets underway on March 8, so seven weeks on from his injury.

Nadal also has a lot of points to defend there after reaching the final last year. However, it’s probably highly unlikely he will make it to Tennis Paradise.

The 22-time Grand Slam winner has always been incredibly cautious with his recovery from injury, and it’s hard to envisage that changing for the last couple of years of his career. After all, do any of the rest of us find we get faster at recovering the older we get?!

So, we can probably safely rule out Indian Wells for Rafa this year. The second part of the Sunshine Double, the Miami Open, follows directly on from Indian Wells on March 22. That would be nine weeks after his injury, so it would certainly appear within his reach.

However, it’s the last event on hardcourt before clay season starts, so is Nadal likely to travel to the US to play one tournament before switching surfaces? It feels very unlikely.

If Nadal’s previous scheduling is anything to go by, we won’t see him until the clay season, which would make the Monte-Carlo Masters on April 9 his likeliest comeback date.

That would be 11 weeks after sustaining his Australian Open injury, but he will be seeing it as a great opportunity to fully prepare for the clay season.

With Nadal being the creature of habit we all know him to be, we can probably be relatively certain of his upcoming schedule.

Projected Rafael Nadal schedule
April 9: Monte-Carlo Masters (ATP 1000)
April 17: Barcelona (ATP 500)
April 26: Madrid Open (ATP 1000)
May 10: Rome Masters (ATP 1000)
May 28: Roland Garros (Grand Slam)
July 3: Wimbledon (Grand Slam)

PRESS CONFERENCE: Rafael Nadal’s remarks after his Australian Open

The “sacrifice” word is not like this. When you do things that you like to do, at the end of the day, it’s not a sacrifice. You are doing the things that you want to do.

When it comes to fatuous cliches about tennis, it’s pretty hard to beat the one about the great “sacrifice” players make in order to achieve their goals. Thankfully, there are people like Nadal, that clear-eyed rationalist, to keep us wary of such melodramatic and ill-considered tropes.

Ironically, Nadal’s serial struggle with injuries at this late stage of his career almost warrants use of the “S” word. After all, it’s hard to imagine that Nadal enjoys being locked into a seemingly endless cycle of injury, recovery and rehab. But the S-word is much more often used in reference to decisions made by parents in order to advance the careers of their offspring, or the things that promising young players usually have to forgo: the scholastic environment, close school friends, team sports, proms—even an education.

Rafael Nadal

As Novak Djokovic said a few years ago at Wimbledon, referring to an immersion in tennis that precluded a conventional education: “[School is] probably the only part I would probably say I. . . don’t regret. . . but I just miss, probably more than anything else.”

Parents who are forced to uproot, quit jobs, or otherwise apply their energies to helping their talented children become tennis stars—think Yuri Sharapov, father of Maria Sharapova—are a unique breed. They use tennis to lift themselves and their kin to a higher station in life. There’s nothing wrong in that, but to call it a “sacrifice” leads to the question, “What exactly are they giving up?”

Many of those parents who rolled the dice with dreams of their kids making it big overlap with the infamous group we’ll call “pushy tennis parents.” But for all the well-founded concern about the sacrifices imposed on their offspring by the PTPs, one of tennis’ great secrets is that the success rate of the PTPs is very low. Successful prodigies make it less because they are pushed than because from the earliest age they are pushing. They are little monsters who can’t get enough of the game, and their parents figure out how to manage that appetite to everyone’s benefit.

It’s not like I never partied. It’s not like I hated my life on tour in the beginning. It’s definitely a bit of a more unusual route to adulthood.

I had a conversation with Karolj Seles on the day his daughter Monica broke through in 1990 as a 16-year old French Open champion. He spoke no English, but told me in his native Hungarian that he and his family were overwhelmed by everything they were going through. Trying to get Monica to take it slow was like trying to hold a tiger by the tail. He also feared that her intensity and ambition might be harmful to her long-term emotional well-being. But they were locked in by her ambition and commanding talent.

The S-word is most often employed to challenge the way developing players are denied a “normal” life. But what exactly is “normal,” anyway—and if it’s synonymous with “conventional,” then who needs it? Certainly not the millions of kids who start rock-and-roll bands, or fall in love with them. Henry David Thoreau observed, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.” I don’t believe it was an endorsement.

Truth is, the bulk of successful tennis pros have no regrets, apart from caveats like the above one issued by Djokovic. At Wimbledon in 2019, Roger Federer allowed that leaving home at age 14, to train and live for two years among French speakers while living with different families, was rough. But he got through it.

“In the beginning [of a career], you get a lot of questions about, ‘Do you feel like you regret so many things because you left school at 16, went on the road, couldn’t party like a rock star.’ I don’t know,” he said. “I’m like, It’s not like I never partied. It’s not like I hated my life on tour in the beginning. It’s definitely a bit of a more unusual route to adulthood.”

Most of the top stars share Federer’s attitude. Alexander Zverev, who has more than made up for any parties he may have missed at 16, said at the 2021 Madrid Masters: “I think you miss out on the normal teenage life. . . But I was always very determined. I knew what I wanted. I knew that I had to be disciplined and work extremely hard for the things that I wanted to achieve, because if you want to have both, you’re not gonna be as successful.”

Zverev’s point is that success is transactional. You aren’t really sacrificing things as much as agreeing to certain trade-offs. Most players have long made their peace with the process by the time they become stars because, like Nadal, they love what they do. The ones that don’t feel that affection—think Nick Kyrgios, currently—can end up struggling with the trade-offs and resenting the sport, convinced that it asks too much of them.

But it always comes back to the same thing: Given a choice between experiencing enormous success at a young age and leading a “normal” life, who is going to choose Door B?

The defending Australian Open champion Rafael Nadal embraced a short Melbourne Park campaign. Rafa injured his left hip in the second-round clash against Mackenzie McDonald and fell 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 to hit the exit door and drop 1955 ATP points!
Despite an evident struggle, Nadal refused to surrender and gave his best in the third set, earning praise from his opponent. McDonald overpowered Nadal in two hours and 32 minutes, staying focused against an injured opponent and bringing home his career-best triumph.

Things went wrong for Rafa right from the start, never finding his rhythm and playing miles below his best at Rod Laver Arena. On the other hand, McDonald did everything well, overpowering the opponent in the closing stages of all three sets to emerge at the top and advance into the third round.

McDonald fired 14 aces, tamed his strokes nicely and built the advantage in the shortest points up to four strokes. He created eight break chances and seized five to send the defending champion packing. The American made a strong start and broke the Spaniard in the encounter’s first game, which is always a good sign.

Pushing strong, Mackenzie secured another break in game five to extend the advantage to 4-1 after swift 19 minutes. Nadal pulled one break back in game six and created a break chance at 4-5. Mackenzie saved it and forced Rafa’s mistake for 6-4 in 46 minutes.
They traded breaks at the start of the second set, and McDonald produced three fine holds to keep the pressure on the other side. Nadal squandered a game point at 3-3 and missed a half-volley to drop serve and fall behind.

Rafael Nadal experienced a hip injury against Mackenzie McDonald.

The American landed an ace in the eighth game to confirm the advantage, and the Spaniard asked for a medical timeout on his left hip. Rafa left the court and held in game nine once he returned to prolong the set. McDonald held at 30 in game ten after Nadal’s tired forehand to wrap up the set and build a massive advantage after an hour and 49 minutes.

Rafa continued and gave his best in the third set, unwilling to surrender before the end. He fired an ace on a break point at 4-4 and held for more drama. Mackenzie leveled the score at 5-5 and placed a backhand down the line winner in the next one to grab a decisive break.

The American fired a service winner at 6-5 to emerge at the top and celebrate a career-best triumph. “It was very tough to stay mentally engaged. I found a way to pull it out, and I’m thrilled. Rafa is a grand champion who never gives up, regardless of the situation.

Closing the match against the rivals from the top is always challenging, and I did well,” Mackenzie McDonald said.

Even before the 2023 Australian Open began, Rafael Nadal virtually predicted success for players who like to hit the ball very hard and, more importantly, flat. The Spanish tennis legend’s assessment came from his experience of playing a few matches and practicing with the new Dunlop tennis balls being used during the Australian Summer of Tennis.

As the tournament has progressed, Nadal’s viewpoint seems to hold truer.
The Spaniard played two matches at the United Cup, against Cameron Norrie and Alex de Minaur, respectively, before a few intense practice sessions in Melbourne ahead of the first Grand Slam tournament of the new season. All of that was with the new official Australian Open ball, manufactured by Dunlop, which he declared as having a “worse quality” compared to the balls used in Australia last year.

Nadal’s dissatisfaction stemmed from the fact that the new Dunlop balls are lacking the usual spin on them. The 22-time Grand Slam champion highlighted that the ball tends to lose pressure a lot quicker than usual, rendering him and other players who prefer to add more top-spin to their shots, unable to do so as effectively.

Rafael Nadal then stated his belief that the new Australian Open tennis balls would benefit the bigger and flat hitters.

“They say [it] is the same, but the ball is worse quality, without a doubt,” Rafael Nadal said in a press conference before the start of his Australian Open campaign.

“I think it’s a ball that doesn’t get the same spin as usual. After a couple of hits, the ball loses the pressure. It’s more difficult to hit with the right spin.”

“I think it is easier to play when you play flatter on the shots. But I need to live with it. I think I have practised enough with the ball to be ready for it.”

Exactly a week since the start of the main draw and results so far show why the Spaniard’s claims have merit. The quarterfinals line-up on the women’s side was set early on Monday and it abundantly features players who like an aggressive style of play in terms of flat hitting.

The most prominent of the big hitters who have made the Australian Open last-eight are Aryna Sabalenka, Karolina Pliskova, and Elena Rybakina, all of whom have dominated the field so far. Between them, they have dropped just the solitary set.

Jelena Ostapenko, Jessica Pegula, Magda Linette, Victoria Azarenka, and Donna Vekic complete the quarterfinal line-up, and there is no shortage of big hitters there as well. Rybakina’s win over world No.1 Iga Swiatek and Ostapenko’s win over Coco Gauff were testament to the advantage a flat-striking style is having for the players.

The top half of the men’s draw, where Nadal lost in the second round, features more such players who can do damage with their heavy hitting and ‘less top-spin’ games. First-time Grand Slam quarterfinalist Sebastian Korda and 18th seed Karen Khachanov are getting rich dividends from displaying such playing styles, while 3rd seed Stefanos Tsitsipas is also flourishing.

Meanwhile, the bottom half of the draw features fourth-round opponents Andrey Rublev and Holger Rune, both of whom like to hammer the ball around with their flat hitting. At the same time, players such as Ben Shelton, Tommy Paul, JJ Wolf, and Michael Mmoh, part of the ‘American surge’ at the 2023 Australian Open, have also enjoyed successful campaigns.

Marion Bartoli believes that Rafael Nadal’s ultimate goal is to win one last French Open. Nadal, 36, met a devastating and heartbreaking end to his Australian Open campaign as a hip injury left him far from his best during his second-round loss to Mackenzie McDonald.

Some fear that Nadal – who has had a lot of injury problems in recent years – is at his breaking point. “I think he has set himself an objective, to win one last Roland-Garros. The Roland-Garros that he won last year, in 2022, nobody thought he was going to win it.

They told us that he could barely walk and that his footing was catastrophic. Although it will be difficult, on this surface he has the recipe and the magic formula to be ready. He doesn’t win Roland-Garros fourteen times without knowing how to be prepared.
I think he will set this last term. And if he really sees that it doesn’t work, he can start thinking about the rest, which tournament he wants to play last,” Bartoli said on the Super Moscato Show, as revealed by We Love Tennis France.

In his post-match press conference, Nadal looked visibly dejected and admitted to feeling “mentally devastated.” However, Nadal confirmed that he definitely plans to treat the injury and give tennis another chance. “It’s a very simple thing: I like what I do.

I like to play tennis. I know it’s not forever. I like to feel competitive. I like to fight for the things I’ve been fighting for almost half my life or even more.”

Corretja speaks about Nadal
Tennis analyst and former player Alex Corretja spoke about Rafael Nadal: “We know that Rafa is going to try until the end of his career, whatever he feels.

So I don’t necessarily feel that he’s going to retire after Roland Garros, he’s going to go day-by-day. He actually said on Eurosport in Spain something like ‘I’m going to continue until I see that I’m not going to be able to continue playing,” he told Eurosport.

“So I don’t think it’s going to be the end of Rafa after Roland-Garros. Definitely when he’s got these injuries it is [a little] step back in his mind and he also needs to recover. But if it’s a short one I think it will give him like the hope to get ready again to hopefully have another chance to win another major – which might make a big difference on his career or not.

Because at the end, when you’ve been winning so much, I don’t think we need to count on whether he wins more majors or not,” he expressed.

Rafael Nadal underwent a scan in Melbourne on Thursday morning that showed a grade two tear of his iliopsoas muscle, sustained during his second-round exit at the Australian Open; The 36-year-old is now an injury doubt for the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells at the start of March

Rafael Nadal is set to miss the next six to eight weeks of the ATP Tour schedule after suffering a hip flexor injury during his shock Australian Open exit.

The defending champion looked in discomfort as he was beaten in straight sets by Mackenzie McDonald at Melbourne Park during the second round on Wednesday, with his 6-4 6-4 7-5 defeat the latest in a long history of fitness problems.

Rafael Nadal had an MRI scan on his left leg in Melbourne on Thursday, under his doctor’s supervision, which revealed a grade two injury in the iliopsoas muscle.
An update from Nadal’s team said he would return to Spain for a period of rest and treatment, with the normal recovery time for the injury from six to eight weeks.

“He will be resting once back in Spain and will start with anti-inflammatory physiotherapy,” his team said in a statement.
“The normal time estimated for a complete recuperation is between six and eight weeks.”

A six-to-eight-week recuperation would allow Nadal to return well before the clay court season and the run-up to the defence of his French Open title in late May and early June, although would make him a doubt for the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells at the start of March.

Defending champion Nadal bows out of Australian Open
Defending champion Rafa Nadal bowed out of the second round of the Australian Open on Wednesday after suffering an injury during his 6-4 6-4 7-5 defeat by American Mackenzie McDonald.

Nadal’s elimination shakes up the men’s draw and puts a twist in the Grand Slam titles race, with nine-times champion Novak Djokovic able to draw level with the Spaniard’s 22 major championships should he take a 10th crown at Melbourne Park.

Nadal appeared to suffer a strain in his left hip area while running for backhand deep in the second set at Rod Laver Arena and after receiving attention from a trainer he took an off-court medical time-out when trailing 6-4 5-3.

He returned grim-faced to play out the match but his movement was clearly affected, particularly on his backhand side, paving the way for McDonald to end the Spaniard’s bid for a third title at Melbourne Park.

Before the injury McDonald had played superbly to take the first set, going toe-to-toe with the 36-year-old Spaniard and winning most of the ferocious baseline exchanges.

“He’s an incredible champion, he’s never going to give up regardless of the situation so even closing it out against a top guy like that is always tough.

“I was trying to stay so focused on what I was doing and he kind of got me out of that with what he was doing. But I kind of just kept focusing on myself and got through.

“Last time I played him was at Chatrier, he kicked my butt,” said McDonald, who took only four games off Nadal in the second round of the French Open in 2020.

“It’s tough to hit through on clay but I liked my chances on hard, I really wanted to take it to him on hard court. I’m really glad I got my chance and got away with it,”said McDonald.

After Nadal’s time-out, he returned to court to a big ovation and earned another round of applause when he held serve.

His gloomy expression told the story, though, and he declined to retrieve a drop-shot in the next game, shaking his head at his worried entourage.

cKenzie took the second set when Nadal whacked a forehand into the net, and the Spaniard thudded his racket into his chair at the change of ends.

Leaning heavily on serve and relying on touch, Nadal dragged McDonald deep into the third set but was finally broken to 6-5 when the American bolted forward to flick a passing shot past him.

Nadal attacked the net in a desperate last stand but there was to be no repeat of the “Miracle of Melbourne” when he came back from two sets down in last year’s classic final to beat Daniil Medvedev.

Rafael Nadal has repeatedly made it clear during his interviews that the race to win the most Grand Slams in men’s tennis history is not his biggest tennis obsession, unlike what Novak Djokovic thinks. Regarding this statement, however, Patrick McEnroe believes that the Spaniard is not completely sincere, especially since he is someone who especially likes to win.

The former tennis player believes that the Serbian champion has more resources than Nadal to win more slams in the coming years. ‘I think 24, 25 years is possible (for Novak Djokovic ed.). But I also think people underestimate how great these guys are.

It’s not as easy as they paint it,” said ESPN analyst Patrick McEnroe during a press conference. The other X factor is whether Novak will be allowed into the United States. At the moment he is not. That has cost him a couple of chances and it may cost him a couple more (referring to slams ed.).” Speaking for Rafael Nadal, the 56-year-old American then rebutted his claims about winning slams.

“I know Rafa liked He likes to say that he doesn’t care about Novak or Roger’s numbers, but I’m not sure, as much as I love Rafael Nadal, that I fully believe him. Because yes, he has always surprised me by his ability to play for the love of the sport.

Of that there is no doubt, and of the competition. But let’s face it, the guy loves to win’ McEnroe stressed that Nadal is not the type of player who goes to events and doesn’t push himself to win them, at least on clay and slower hard courts.

Rafa Nadal made history
Rafael Nadal is cautious enough not to rule out the possibility altogether. But he stressed that the “logical perspective” says otherwise. “I can’t predict the future. Some of the names that you named, they are super good…If we start talking about achieving 22 Grand Slams, 21, 20, I mean, it’s a big deal,” Nadal said in a press conference ahead of the 2023 Australian Open.

“They are super good. They’re going to have amazing career. They’re going to win slams. They’re going to win a lot of tournaments, yes,” the Spaniard continued. “Some of them, I can’t be sure, but I’m almost sure not two players of this generation going to achieve 20, 21, and 22 Grand Slams,” he stated further.

“If someone can reach that number – maybe – going to be difficult, they have a lot of things to do in front. But you never know what can happen.”

Last September 2022 was an epochal month for tennis and for sport. Maybe for world history in general. The death of Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, a common thread that unites it to the retirements of Roger Federer and Serena Williams from tennis.

Completely different stories, but which in both cases marked an era. To celebrate one of the most beautiful rivalries in the history of sport, Italian journalist Francesco Sessa, who covers tennis for La Gazzetta dello sport and Eurosport, wrote the song Si Vola (We Fly, Tonight – ed.) , which is inspired by the Italian singer-songwriter world and which puts I compare the two personalities, the styles and the emotions that both have aroused in the history of the Game and beyond.

It is resolved with the union between the two players, one against the other but together in a unique rivalry: “Roger and Rafa your magic is to make a beautiful poem out of a game, which teaches you to love whoever is against me, because I don’t exist without you,” says one passage of the song.

The author of the song said: “Making music has always been a way to express my deepest thoughts and the feelings I had inside. A world that I have always kept to myself, however. This song is special because it is the first one I spread and because it combines my two great passions, one for music and one for sport.

The rivalry between Roger and Rafa, thanks to which I became passionate about tennis as a kid, has been told in many ways. With this song, I wanted to do it my way.”

Lyrics in Italian and in English
(Author: Francesco Sessa)
Roger how do you do, how do you do
To transform everything you have into art
To make what seems far away close
Designing worlds with racket in hand
Designing worlds with racket in hand
Rafa how do you do, how do you do
To run in the wind and never give up
To be hammer, feather and volcano
Nailing dreams with racket in hand
Nailing dreams with racket in hand
Breath of stars, caresses on the skin
You have never dreamed of more beautiful things
But this is reality, this is true history
The earth is divided, the heart in prayer
You have seen the eternal
We fly tonight
Roger you know it, you know it
What you have done, no one will ever
The white on the lawn is a sculpted image
It is genius made flesh, a hymn to life
It is genius made flesh, a hymn to life
Rafa you know it , you know it
Many are lost hoping for your troubles
Dirty earth, stop and watch
A fire that burns, an immortal rite
A fire that burns, an immortal rite
Roger and Rafa, your magic
It is making a beautiful poem out of a game
Who teaches to love those who are against me
Because I don’t exist if you aren’t here
I cross borders to beat you
Breath of stars, caresses on the skin
You have never dreamed of more beautiful things
But this is reality, this is true history
The earth is divided, the heart in prayer You have
seen the eternal We
fly tonight Bringing closer what seems far Drawing worlds with a racket in hand Drawing worlds with a racket in hand Rafa how do you do it Running in the wind and never giving up Being a hammer, feather and volcano Nailing dreams with a racket in hand Nailing dreams with racket in hand Blow of stars, caresses on the skin You’ve never dreamed of more beautiful things.

But this is reality, this is true history
The earth is divided, the heart in prayer
You have seen the eternal
We fly, tonight
Roger you know it, you know it
What you have done, no one will ever
The white on the grass is a carved image
It is genius made flesh, hymn to life
It’s genius made flesh, hymn to life
Rafa you know it, you know
it Many are lost hoping for your troubles
Soiled with earth, stop and watch
A fire that burns, an immortal rite
A fire that burns, an immortal rite
Roger and Rafa, your magic
It’s turning a game into a beautiful poem
That teaches you to love those who are against me
Because I don’t exist if you’re not here
I cross borders to beat you
Breath of stars, caresses on the skin
You have never dreamed of more beautiful things
But this is reality, it is true story
The earth is divided, the heart in prayer
You have seen the eternal

Spanish veteran Rafael Nadal is firmly in the GOAT debate alongside Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.
Never one to steal undue limelight, Rafael Nadal has always been happy to pile praise on his peers and is often particularly complimentary toward long-time friend Roger Federer. So much so that he made an audacious prediction regarding his fellow tennis legend almost 12 years ago.

It was during the build-up to the 2011 Wimbledon final—while Federer-mania was still at its peak—that the Spaniard forecasted Federer’s mountain of major titles would never be topped. The Swiss star’s score stood at 16 at the time, while Nadal followed with 10 and a Wimbledon final debutant by the name of Novak Djokovic had a paltry two to his tally.

“The career of Roger is probably impossible to repeat – and I believe the number he has is not going to stop where it is,” said Nadal in July 2011, just prior to facing ‘Nole’ in that year’s decider at SW19. “He will have more chances to win more. It’s going to be strange if within three or four years one player wins more than him, and he’s the best ever. Probably that’s not gonna happen.”

It just so happened that 2011 proved to be a turning point for Federer and the first time in nine seasons that he failed to win at least one Grand Slam (dating back to 2003). The formation of ‘The Big Three’ meant many fans’ ‘GOAT’ went from winning 16 majors across an eight-year span to clinching just four more crowns over the following eight.
Fast-forward to today and we now know just how wrong Nadal was. Not only has 21-time winner Djokovic caught up to overtake Federer’s total of 20 Grand Slam awards, but Nadal himself has ruled the roost since last year with 22 of his own.

It was Djokovic’s expulsion from last year’s Australian Open that gave the Majorcan his chance to climb ahead in the title stakes before claiming a two-trophy lead at Roland Garros. Nole can climb back level in Melbourne as he prepares to make a much-anticipated return to the field, however, while Nadal is the top seed Down Under after world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz was forced out due to injury.

While Federer’s late record may be a thing of the past, it’s a testament to his talent that one of his equals was quite so convinced his standard at the four majors would never be bested. There was a time when ‘Rog’ looked particularly peerless at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, scooping up 11 of the 14 titles on offer in London and New York between 2003 and 2009.
It’s safe to say Nadal and Djokovic have also found their ‘happy places’, each boasting record title hauls at the French Open and Australian Open, respectively. The former sealed his 14th success in Paris last year, while the latter makes his comeback in Melbourne this month seeking a 10th title, which would also bring him back level with Nadal on 22 Grand Slams apiece.

There’s little telling how Federer might have galvanised his legacy further had injuries not hampered the latter half of his career quite so badly. Plenty of pundits and fans alike will still consider him the game’s ‘GOAT’, but Nadal and Djokovic have each accomplished enough to put themselves firmly in that frame.