"Rafael Nadal and his magic is still very difficult to defeat" - Serena Williams' ex-coach on the Spaniard's comeback

Rafael Nadal announces 2024 comeback
Rafael Nadal announces 2024 comeback

Serena Williams' former coach, Rick Macci, has expressed his admiration for Rafael Nadal's enduring competitive spirit following the announcement of the Spaniard's return date.

The 37-year-old sustained a hip injury at the 2023 Australian Open, which sidelined him for the entire season. He has, however, announced that he will make his return at the ATP 250 Brisbane International in January in the lead-up to the Melbourne Slam.

Nadal's announcement has generated significant excitement within the tennis community. Macci also shared his thoughts on the former World No. 1's comeback and praised the latter's dedication. He cautioned against underestimating the 22-time Grand Slam champion, citing the Mallorca native's impressive accomplishments and remarkable courage.

"When you have Twenty Two Grand Slams in your back pocket and have the Heart of a Lion never underestimate the Great Spanish Bull for Trying. @RafaelNadal," he posted on X (formerly Twitter).

Macci further contended that the 37-year-old would remain difficult to defeat even upon his return, due to his famed competitive spirit.

"When you just love the Battle and love to Compete @RafaelNadal and his magic is still very difficult to Defeat," he commented further.

"I wish Rafael Nadal all the best, but I don't think he’s a contender to win a Slam" - Serena Williams' ex-coach Rick Macci

Rick Macci comments on the Spaniard's comeback
Rick Macci comments on the Spaniard's comeback

In a recent interview with Tennis Infinity, Rick Macci stated that while Rafael Nadal's victories at the French Open were once seen as a foregone conclusion, this notion no longer held true.

With the 22-time Grand Slam champion making a return after an extended layoff, Macci expressed doubt about him being a contender for Grand Slam titles.

"Where before against Rafael Nadal, he's 112-3 on clay [at Roland Garros]. The match was over before it even started. You knew you weren’t gonna beat the guy more than likely. So that being said, I wish Rafa all the best, but he's not at the exact same level he was before so I don't think he’s a contender to win a Slam,” he said.

Macci went on to say that although he expected Nadal to present a formidable challenge at Roland Garros, the Spaniard's age and susceptibility to injuries could pose a new challenge for him, even on the surface he likes playing on the most.

"As far as Rafael Nadal coming back, as you get older, you lose a little mobility and people aren't afraid when they know you're vulnerable. There's not that much difference between the guys at the top and then the next tier, and when they know they have a chance, that's a whole different thing, even on clay," he said.
"I think he can be competitive and I think he's a rough out for anybody on clay, but it depends on his health," he added.

What is the foot injury that has troubled Rafael Nadal over the years? Check here