After Rafael Nadal’s victory on the US Open that ended on the past Sunday, the matter of the importance of the physical condition for a player to reach success in the elite of world tennis was approached once again.
The importance of injuries on contemporary tennis: Tremendous demand has consequences
And speaking about physical conditioning, who is better than Rafa Nadal to illustrate that. The Spanish tennis player is truly diabolical when he is in the best physical condition, but the effort he puts into his game when he is in good form tends to originate knee problems, such is the strength he applies on them.
His ability to react to the changes in direction from the balls coming from the other side of the court is tremendous. However, the attrition that causes on his knees has been leading to several injuries throughout his career.
In fact, the fact he hasn’t been at the top of the world ranking is slightly because of that, because a break of 2/3 months can result on a huge loss of points on the rankings, especially if it is on a stage where in the recent past the Spaniard had won several tournaments.
Currently, Rafa Nadal is on a good moment of form, but apparently, the player ended the final of the US Open against Daniil Medvedev physically exhausted.
According to his coach, Nadal was almost unable to breathe on his last service game and had cramps as soon as he reached the locker room.
This sort of efforts usually comes at a cost, especially on the more competitive efforts that spare no energies when it comes to fighting for each point, and on that department the Spanish player is an extraordinary example of dedication.
World No. 1 once again on the horizon
With the victory at Flushing Meadows and the withdrawal of Novak Djokovic on the 8th finals against Stan Wawrinka, the Spaniard won a lot of points when compared to the previous edition of the competition, while the Serbian World No. 1 didn’t defend his title and lost a ton of points.
That way we have seen a serious gap-close from the Spaniard to the top of the rankings, and I should highlight that Novak Djokovic will have a lot of points to defend at this end of the season, since he won 1 tournament and reached the final on 2 others on the months after the US Open.
But the scenario of a potential defence of that title is relatively jeopardized for “Nole” that was forced to abandon the tournament due to injuries on the left shoulder.
He had already shown them at an earlier stage of the tournament, but he managed to advance until he had a truly difficult obstacle ahead of them and the quality of Stan Wawrinka didn’t allow him to continue on the competition, since his limitation wouldn’t allow him to rival with the best tennis players in the planet.
Now, we are on a period of some doubt regarding what will be the end of the season for the Serbian player, but it is likely that he won’t risk his physical condition and opt to take a break from tennis until the start of next season in an attempt to recover from this injury.
If that’s the case, and with Rafa Nadal apparently with good physical conditions, he will have an open path to return to the top of the world ranking some time after having been there for the last time.
Roger Federer on a reflection period
After having returned to the Grand Slam titles in 2017 and 2018 that way breaking a drought of 5 seasons, the Swiss legend wasn’t successful in 2019 and finished the season without big-name titles, with his disappointing display in Flushing Meadows being one of the lowest points.
A lot of people might return to the old idea that the most awarded player of tennis history is at an advanced age and incapable of rivalling with the best players in the world, but that doesn’t seem to be the case, especially at the Australian Open or in Wimbledon, where the courts are faster and benefit him over Nadal or Djokovic.
In a certain way, Federer might have had a year where he wasn’t able to reach his best level, but he might recover it on the following season if that is his intention.
— Thanos Stathopoulos (@stathopoulosth) September 4, 2019
At this stage, I believe that the psychological aspect is more important, because it is not easy to compete for 20 years at the highest level.
Maybe the fact that Rafa Nadal is only 1 Grand Slam title away from catching him is an incentive for the Swiss maestro to regain his form and attack new Grand Slam titles in 2020.
Although it is still a bit far, and not the first Grand Slam of the year, Roger Federer continues to be one of the eternal favourites to winning at Wimbledon for the bookmakers, with odds of 3.20 on 1xbet, for example.