As things slowly crawl back to normalcy in Spain after their devastating battle with the COVID-19 pandemic, World No. 2 Rafael Nadal has shared details of his training sessions during the break period. The Spaniard said he's taking things slowly at the moment, and that there are some days on which he doesn't practise at all.
One of the worst-affected countries in the world, Spain has had over 286,000 COVID-19 cases and more than 27,000 deaths due to the deadly virus. With lockdown imposed since March, training and tournaments took a backseat for the sports-loving nation.
Consequently, Rafael Nadal was also confined within the four walls of his home in Majorca, and that disrupted his entire practice schedule.
It wasn't until 4 May that the 19-time Grand Slam champion could finally get the feel of a proper practice session. Even that, however, was restricted to the private court of one of Rafael Nadal's friends.
It took the southpaw another week to gain the liberty of training at the Rafa Nadal Academy, when Spain started easing restrictions in Phase 1. That was the first time since the Indian Wells Masters got cancelled in March that Nadal was seen hitting, the photos of which he shared on social media.
On completion of two weeks of training, the 12-time French Open winner even released a video that showed him trading blows with his coach, Carlos Moya. The ferocity with which Nadal hit the ball made it hard for fans to believe that he had ever taken a break.
Not spending more than 1.5 hours on court: Rafael Nadal
In a recent chat with ESPN Argentina, the former World No. 1 talked at length about his training regimen. Speaking to former player and current tennis analyst Jose Luis Clerc, the four-time US Open winner underlined how important it is not to overdo things in this critical phase.
The Spaniard has been careful to gradually ease into the rigours of high-intensity training after such a long break. Known for being injury-prone, Nadal has taken great care to ensure that he doesn't run the risk of hurting himself - which is why he has even sprinkled his schedule with a few off-days.
“I have been training on the track for a couple of weeks, but in a very calm way," Nadal said. "It is important to minimize the risk of injury now, so I do not usually spend more than 1.5 hours on the court and there are days that I do not train."
With no competitive tournament in sight and the ATP and WTA tours suspended till 31 July, it might get tough for elite athletes to maintain their day-to-day motivation. But Nadal, who recently said he is still looking to break records despite being in his mid-30s, emphasized the importance of improving your game from one day to the next rather than setting long-term goals.
“The best possible motivation is to improve every day, look for day-to-day illusions and know that if you do that job well, successes will come. Training without objectives is boring," Nadal finished.Published 31 May 2020, 02:32 IST