Rafael Nadal’s unexpected practice loss to Richard Gasquet has left him “not ready” to take on Novak Djokovic

Rafael Nadal’s road to his best may not be exactly what fans believed, even though he is improving day by day. The Spanish legend is currently in the final stages of his rehabilitative phase after tearing his psoas muscle during the 2023 Australian Open. Fans eagerly await each update and video clips from him and tournament officials, ensuring the prospect of witnessing one of their favorite legends back on the tennis court is certain

After declaring his participation in the Brisbane International and 2024 Australian Open, Rafael Nadal has been training hard with different players and may have just stumbled a little after losing two sets in one of his practices.

Rafael Nadal fans react to his unexpected practice

“Told you he’s not ready,” a twitter fan’s statement following Rafael Nadal’s defeat to 37-year old Richard Gasquet, who won 2 of the 3 practice sets, suggests that he may not be fully prepared for the upcoming matches. Gasquet recently provided insight into Rafa’s current form, highlighting that the tennis legend is free from injuries and capable of winning matches once more. However, some fans remain skeptical about whether the 22-time Grand Slam winner is completely prepared for the upcoming Australian Open in the following month.

This season, the Spaniard overcame the worst period of his career. Rafael Nadal injured his left hip at this year’s Australian Open and experienced one of the most extended breaks in his career, missing the rest of the season. The 36-year-old will hopefully start all over in a couple of weeks, hoping to compete injury-free and reach a high level again.

Nadal began practicing, combining his training sessions in gym and shaping up his body. Feeling improvements on the court at his academy, Rafa will start from the beginning in Brisbane in a couple of weeks, feeling eager to play competitive tennis and extend his incredible career. But the loss to Richard Gasquet might prove a point after many wins.

A fan wrote: “But I just don’t understand how he lost, he’s been hitting winners all week and been in the Gym everyday! Must be taking it easy on Gasquet I think that’s probably the logical explanation”

“Vasquez is 37 and ranked 78th. Last tourney he played he lost in 1st round to Paul. Nice player but man… The AO is next month…” Another fan reacted.

Will Novak Djokovic play Rafael Nadal in Australian Open 2024?

The Australian Open is fast approaching and the first tennis Grand Slam of 2024 seems like a valuable treasure to a host of best players in the world. However, the battle for there seems to be many priorities and who look forward to when the competition in Melbourne begins.

Novak Djokovic opens up about being intimidated by Rafael Nadal
The Sun

Novak Djokovic is the men’s defending champion having clinched his 10th title in 2023 with a straight-sets victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Rod Laver Arena and sits as favourite to clinch next year’s title and many more Grand Slams. Backed with a host of titles like the French Open and US Open title and finished the year in style with further Masters 1000 titles in Cincinnati and Paris, before he also clinched the ATP Finals crown in Turin.

However, he will be faced with stiff opposition if he wants to claim a record-extending 11th Australian Open as Rafael Nadal will be in line to make his latest comeback from injury in time to feature in Melbourne. And many believe that a wildcard being given to Rafael Nadal for the competition may see him play against Novak Djokovic in the latter rounds of the tournament.

Victor Okechukwu

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