Rafael Nadal is one of the greatest players of all time, but also arguably one of the most injury-prone. He has amassed 20 Grand Slam titles, two Olympic gold medals and 35 Masters 1000 titles in his long career, despite facing more physical issues than most of his contemporaries. And the poignance of that is not lost on the Spaniard.
Speaking recently on the 'Saber Vivir' show for Spanish network television, Rafael Nadal revealed the extent to which he has been ravaged by injuries, and what his mindset has been like while dealing with it all.
"It’s true that I have faced many injury problems in my career," said Rafael Nadal (roughly translated from the Spanish program). "But well, it is also true that the way to solve them has always been found. Some have counted for more, others for less, but the solution has always been found. And not only the medical solution has always been found but also the tennis solution."
The Spaniard further spoke about the mental toll that his multiple injuries have taken over the years.
"When you accumulate problems, it is also not only the momentary issue but what remains inside your head and how it disappoints you to see what to do when you get injured. But, you have to return," said the 20-time Grand Slam champion.
The most important thing is to recover fully: Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal has had injuries on his shoulder, wrist, abdomen, hamstring, right ankle, knee and back, just to name a few body parts. The Spaniard has also undergone surgery multiple times, including a strenuous operation for knee tendinitis in 2009 and another for a long-term wrist injury in 2016.
But Nadal has bounced back strongly each time, primarily because he devotes himself fully to the recovery process. The Spaniard claimed that even though he is an athlete competing at the very summit of men's tennis, he knows the importance of patience and rehabilitation - no matter how much tennis he may miss in the process.
"I know when injuries appear that all I can do is accept it and take the path of peace, of patience and of daily work to achieve the goal that is to recover well as quickly as possible. Having said that, the most important thing is to recover fully," Nadal said.
Rafael Nadal is now preparing for the Australian swing in January-February, during which he will bid to win his 21st Grand Slam title. If he does win the Australian Open this year, he will become the sole record holder for most Majors won, and also the first man since Roy Emerson to have won two titles at each of the Slams.Published 11 Jan 2021, 16:56 IST