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Rafael Nadal Forgets Novak Djokovic While Pointing Out 2 Reasons Why Players Are Getting Frequently Injured Nowadays

Tanmay Roy

Rafael Nadal Forgets Novak Djokovic While Pointing Out 2 Reasons Why Players Are Getting Frequently Injured Nowadays

The Italian Open 2024 has excited fans since Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are playing in a tournament together after 16 months. But on the flip side, it has also come under heavy scrutiny from the tennis world since two of the best current-generation players are absent from it – Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz.

With the rising number of injuries in professional tennis being a huge cause of concern, Rafael Nadal has now weighed in on the topic. Interestingly, while the Spaniard tried to make sense of the same, it is unlikely that he thought of Novak Djokovic and his success while speaking to the media at the time.

Just like most tennis lovers, Rafael Nadal isn’t happy that Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz aren’t playing in the Italian Open 2024. However, Nadal didn’t directly call out the ATP Tour like Andy Roddick in claiming that tennis tournaments taking place one after another is not great for the sport. The 10-time Italian Open champion was quoted as saying –

“The injuries have been always there. That’s the truth. I understand, for you guys (referring to Italian public) that Jannik is not playing here is terrible, especially with the way that he’s playing this year. But, I mean, we can talk about that for hours because at the end, we have been talking about that for so many years.

“Now, with Carlos and with Jannik not playing here, the conversation is on the table again. But nothing changed. Just a coincidence.”

Nadal knows how difficult it is to be a professional tennis player for many years and being successful at it. He himself has suffered from multiple injuries, which on many occasions, could have ended his career. So he drew from his own experience to explain the rise in injuries seen these days and he had an interesting answer –

“If we want to talk about why (gasps). People get injured, so I tell you very clear. When you push your body to the limit, you get injured at the end. When the game is faster and faster and faster, you get injured. When you play most of the year on the hard court that the surfaces are tougher for the body, you get injured. So, that’s a simple answer,” Nadal continued.

“Then another world is on the side. That is about the tournament, about the business, about the sport by itself, and that’s another conversation. And at the end, the players want to make money, the tournaments want to make money, and then its the whole, the whole cycle that comes together and we accept that role and things happen you know.”

Rafael Nadal has previously spoken about his problem when it comes to seeing the game get more speedy and power-based in nature. Additionally, he believes that playing more tournaments on hard courts is punishing due to the extra strain it puts on a player’s body.

However, hard courts and playing an aggressive, fast game which involves more athleticism, is what has largely made up Novak Djokovic’s success. So here is how accurate Rafa is exactly in his assessment –

Why Is Novak Djokovic an Exception to What Rafael Nadal Said?

Rafael Nadal could be correct since Djokovic is an outlier when it comes to hard court specialists winning so many titles and playing on the Tour for 20 years.

The Serb has not been completely injury-free. A player’s fitness levels nowadays, depends a lot on how quickly they are able to recover from injuries and how self-aware they are, when it comes to how much they need to train. This is something which players like Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz also need to figure out.

But this is also where Novak Djokovic stands out from his competitors even as he will turn 37 this month. He transformed himself in the 2010s to be a lean, mean machine who is obsessed with his fitness and what he consumes.

Djokovic is renowned to meditate a lot, perform activities like Yoga and Tai-Chi as part of his training and focus on his flexibility with different exercises, which help him have an incredible court coverage. His body fat percentage is unbelievably low too, because of not consuming any form of gluten, dairy, meat and products with preservatives and additives whatsoever.

This brings back Stefanos Tsitsipas’ 2023 comments on the World No.1’s fitness. Although Nadal and Tsitsipas share a friendly equation, it looked like the Greek ruffled a few feathers by favoring Djokovic at the expense of the Spaniard in an interview. Tsitsipas was quoted as saying in an interview with Sports DNA

“I don’t want to say anything bad about Nadal, but he has different routines that have cost him his career with injuries, and I know why these things happen.

“Novak has avoided it. His diet is the most incredible in tennis, his recovery is the most advanced I have seen.

“So I also take some elements and add them to my own tennis. I think that’s also why he is going so strong at an age where you’d think your level would drop, which is normal.”

The Greek star was full of praise for Novak Djokovic, calling him an absolute ‘professional’ when it comes to following his routines. So he is not surprised at how Djokovic has managed to remain on top of his game because of his fitness.

This has proved Nadal wrong to an extent in his current assessment. That extent would get bigger once players frequently participate in tournaments and start winning more Grand Slams and Masters 1000s.

Post Edited By:Dhruv Rupani

About the author

Tanmay Roy

Tanmay Roy


Tanmay Roy is a Tennis Journalist at The SportsRush, whose lifelong passion and zeal for the sport landed him this position. A writer with over 1000 articles under him, Tanmay fell in love with tennis in 2005 when Roger Federer defeated Andy Roddick in the Wimbledon final after a stunning three sets. Tanmay followed the likes of the Big Three - Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, and Rafael Nadal from the mid-noughties to now. His interest was stronger than ever after the wonderful 2009 Wimbledon Final which saw Roger Federer win after a see-saw 5-set match. His favorite female tennis player is Serena Williams and Monica Seles. Tanmay's favorite match-up to date is Roger Federer vs Andy Roddick in the 2000s. If possible, the John Isner vs Nicolas Mahut first round match at the 2010 Wimbledon is the only match Tanmay would love to watch Live by going back in time. Of late, he is a huge fan of Jannik Sinner and believes the youngster has the potential to break every record.

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