Rafael Nadal delivered bleak Paris verdict and told he won’t ‘have a deep run’

Rafael Nadal has been tipped for a surprising early exit as he returns to competitive tournament action next week. The tennis legend is set to take part in the Paris Masters after almost two months away from the court.
The Spaniard is hoping for his fifth title of the season in the French capital but his chances of success could be scuppered by a lack of match fitness. Nadal has not played in a competitive singles match since his fourth round US Open defeat to Frances Tiafoe and continues to struggle with injury problems.

After an emotional retirement farewell to great rival Roger Federer at the Laver Cup in London, Nadal returned home to Mallorca to welcome the birth of his first child with his wife Mery Perello.
The 36-year-old is aiming to finish his season in style by reclaiming the world No.1 spot, but tennis analyst Pamela Maldonado believes he will succumb to a big-hitting opponent on the hard surface in Paris.

“Some of the cons for Paris are that he hasn’t played,” Maldonado told the Tennis Channel Inside-In podcast. “Paris is fast, that doesn’t bode well for Nadal. Here he has a 22-6 win-loss record, no titles.
“He lost to Zverev in the 2020 semi-final, lost to Shapovalov (Nadal withdrew with injury) in the 2019 semi-final. Those two names are already telling you that he struggles against these heavy hitters on this faster surface.

“So I don’t expect him to have a deep run here with a lot of great players coming into this tournament.”
Nadal has won two Grand Slam titles this year in Australia and at Roland Garros, but the rest of his season has been plagued by injuries. He has pushed his body to the brink in recent times and was forced to pull out of a Wimbledon semi-final against Nick Kyrgios before his fourth round exit at Flushing Meadows.

Maldonado has boldly predicted that Nadal will now deteriorate as a result of his injuries, and she is unsure whether he can return to the levels that have made him a 22-time Grand Slam champion. The leading betting analyst has suggested fatherhood will change Nadal’s priorities as he enters his late thirties.
“I don’t think we’ll see peak Nadal anymore,” she added. “I think those days have passed us…it is going to start becoming a thing where, what he did to his body this year, when he got the injection in order to get through at Roland Garros, that is not sustainable.

“That is not something he can repeat year after year and have longevity in this sport. I feel like the days of Nadal are starting to cave in a bit. Who knows when his retirement could come? But now that he is a father, potentially that focus is going to shift.”

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