MADRID (AFP) – Rafael Nadal, who pulled out of the US Open due to injury, should be ready for the Davis Cup semi-final between Spain and the United States next month, the tennis ace’s coach and uncle said Thursday.
The Spaniard withdrew on Wednesday from the US Open, the final Grand Slam of the season, which starts in New York on August 27, because of his continuing battle with knee tendinitis.
“It was the right decision. This pause will further prolong his career and, possibly, he will have no more problems in the future,” Toni Nadal told Spanish radio, adding the goal is to work for a “full recovery”.
Nadal, the world number three, won a record seventh French Open title in June but he crashed out in the second round at Wimbledon in a shock upset against Czech Lukas Rosol.
Shortly after the 26-year-old pulled out of the London Olympics because of the long-standing problem with his knees and subsequently withdrew from ATP Tour events in Toronto and Cincinnati.
But Toni Nadal said he was confident that his nephew would be ready to take part in the September 14-16 Davis Cup semi-final between Spain and the United States in the northern Spanish city of Gijon.
“There is a month to go and we hope that he will be fine, if not technically, at least physically,” he said.
“After Wimbledon we decided to rest a few days and then work on strengthening his quadriceps but it was difficult.
“We eventually managed to boost a bit of his strength but at the end of the training sessions he continued to feel discomfort and his recovery was not enough to face such a hard competition as the US Open.
“Now we are training normally, but it is not the same as competing four hours a day during a tournament,” the coach added.
Meanwhile, Carlos Moya, a former world number one and 1998 French Open winner, believes compatriot Nadal will come back a stronger, better player.
“Rafa is going to come back for sure and he’s going to be stronger than he was before,” Moya told http://www.atpchampionstour.com.
“Of course I am worried he’s been out since the second round of Wimbledon, but now he’s resting and having physio. Maybe if he had come back now he would have hurt the knee even more. Now he is very calm, he takes his time.
“Mentally he is such a great player and for sure he’s going to give everything. He will be 100 percent again and we will see him lifting another Grand Slam trophy. I feel sure of that.”