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Moya: "Exhausted" Nadal aiming for hard-court return
The coach of the world No. 3 outlined his charge's plans following his withdrawal from Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics.
Published Jun 22, 2021
An "exhausted" Rafael Nadal is recharging for the hardcourt season, according to coach Charlie Moya.
The 35-year-old Spaniard withdrew from Wimbledon, along with the Tokyo Olympics, following his defeat to Novak Djokovic in the French Open semifinals. It was just his third-ever defeat at Roland Garros in 16 career appearances, where he first won the trophy as a 19-year-old.
"The clay season has been very tough, with a lot of physical and mental pressure. Rafa finished exhausted," Moya told 'Tablero Deportivo' on RTVE.
Nadal has played just six events this season, but five have been on clay—he went 19-3 at Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid, Rome and the French Open. Other than Monte Carlo, which had no fans, the tournaments were played with some but still limited crowds due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"The defeat [to Djokovic] has not had as much of an effect as the fact that there is a week less than usual to prepare for Wimbledon, and the context of the pandemic," commented Moya, referring to the one-week delay in the scheduling of the French Open. "It is complicated on a mental level to face confinement prior to a big tournament, play with little public. This affects Rafa, who is a person with a big connection to people and with a prior quarantine, it was hard going to London."
Players will have a 'bubble' at Wimbledon, allowed to go only between the tournament hotel and the grounds, and there will also be similar restrictions for athletes at the Olympics.
But Nadal plans to play a full hardcourt season, according to Moya, and includes events scheduled in Canada, Cincinnati, and the US Open. Full capacity is planned for both Cincinnati and the US Open, which Nadal has won three times.
"It is a tournament that historically has been very good for him, he likes the atmosphere there a lot and we hope it will be a tournament with almost no restrictions," he said.
Nadal is No.3 in the rankings.