Rafael Nadal won't be competitive when it comes to Grand Slams if renowned coach Rick Macci is to be believed as his comeback to the tennis court begins likely in Brisbane at the end of the year.
Nadal will begin a block of training in Kuwait to mirror the Aussie Summer and then will likely play an ATP 250 presumably the Brisbane International which already boasts Holger Rune and Ben Shelton among others before the Australian Open.
But despite the fanfare of Nadal's return, Macci believes that he will struggle for the reason of losing mobility and the extra edge when you get older and that the rising stars including those who he could play in Brisbane gain as a result.
There is one tournament that he will be potentially still the king at and that is Roland Garros as expected believes Macci, but he says even that depends on his health.
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“As far as Rafa coming back, as you get older, you lose a little mobility and people aren’t afraid when they know you’re vulnerable,” Macci told Tennis Infinity.
“There’s not that much difference between the guys at the top and then the next tier, and when they know they have a chance, that’s a whole different thing, even on clay.”
“Where before against Rafa, he’s 112-3 on clay [at Roland Garros], the match was over before it even started,” Macci continued.
“You knew you weren’t gonna beat the guy more than likely. So, that being said, I wish Rafa all the best, but he’s not at the exact same level he was before so I don’t think he’s a contender to win a Slam.
“I think he can be competitive and I think he’s a rough out for anybody on clay, but it depends on his health.”