Former French Open champion Gustavo Kuerten believes that Rafael Nadal will be back stronger than ever, once he recovers from his wrist and appendix problems.
Nadal has not played since Wimbledon when he lost to Nick Kyrgios in what was the shock of the tournament, yet Kuerten who knows what it is like to be forced to retire early after hip problems, strongly feels that the Spaniard can regain his best form.
The 38-year old told Reuters: “It’s worrying for all of us who love watching him when he’s injured, but then he keeps surprising us.
“He turned it around last year and finished up as the number one again. Anything is possible for Rafa, but it depends on his physical condition. His style has a massive impact on the body, it’s based on his physical performance a lot.”
Nadal’s only real positive last year was his ninth French Open title in June and he will be hoping that 2015 will see him shake off the injuries that plagued him in 2014, when he returns to action in January.
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Yet, Kuerten who eventually retired in 2008 after admitting defeat in trying to fight off his injury problems since 2001, shortly after his third Roland Garros title. Thinks that Nadal could be back to his best in time for the Australian Open – the first Grand Slam of the year- and that no one can defeat him on his preferred clay courts.
“Rafa thinks that is his territory, I think even when he is 95-years old you won’t be able to keep him down. He is from another planet when playing at Roland Garros.”
Nadal to open an academy
Meanwhile, Nadal will open a tennis academy in Mallorca in 2016, after holding a monumental ceremony in his hometown of Manacor.
The academy will also include a school where future tennis players can continue their studies, before trying to make the step up to becoming a professional and attempting to replicate the 14-time Grand Slam champion.