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Mats Wilander exclusively on Rafael Nadal’s situation: That’s why the superstar will be back

After the US Open, Rafael Nadal took a good two-month break, which he only interrupted for an appearance at the Laver Cup in September.

Since returning to the tour, however, things have not gone smoothly. At the ATP Masters in Paris he failed in the first match, at the ATP Finals in Turin it was the end of the group phase.

Do we have to worry that the record-breaking Grand Slam champion will no longer be able to reach his best level?

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It would be nothing, the second in the world rankings is already 36 years old and has been in the professional circus for almost two decades. However, other standards must be applied to Nadal, such as tennis icons Mats Wilander exclusively at Eurosport explained.

“If you just won the Australian Open and French Open, then you have three or four years left. The fact that Rafa will be 40 years old by then doesn’t matter because he can be like, ‘Hey kids, me I’ve been doing this since I was 17 or 18. That’s five sets. That’s a marathon, but if you sprint you’re going to kill yourself, you’re going to get tired – and then if you slow down, I’m faster than you. ‘ Rafa knows what it takes physically. He knows how much training he has to do to have a chance – both physically and mentally,” said the seven-time Grand Slam tournament winner from Sweden.

Wilander: Grand Slam title easier for Nadal

However, not all goals are equally realistic. “I think it will be very difficult to keep the position,” Wilander said of Nadal’s position in the world rankings. “Winning another Grand Slam tournament, on the other hand, will be easier. Much easier than, for example, being number three in the world rankings, because he doesn’t really need that.”

All in all, Wilander firmly expects Nadal to be his old self again in the 2023 season. The only important thing for the veteran is “to choose the right events at the right time”.

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