Carlos Moya He was always at Rafael Nadal’s side in this 2023 year, which was so difficult for the Spanish champions. The stop in Australia, the failed attempts at recovery, the frustration of having to undergo another operation due to the refusal to end his career like that, with a cold press conference. He experienced difficult moments in which everything seemed useless, but slowly and patiently the 22-time Grand Slam champion recovered and convinced himself in the final days of training in Kuwait that he could still be competitive. So Nadal will be the star of the 250m in Brisbane that will open the new season and Moya will continue to be at his side. So Carlos spoke to the ATP, recounting some of the darkest moments of the year and how he sees Rafa now, just days before he returns to the field.
“There were difficult moments because he didn’t improve. We had to be very careful with the training loads we prepared for him. He took a lot of risks to climb back up and the path was difficult, very difficult, but he always maintained the desire, driven by the desire to play again. At various points I felt like it was over.
Rafa has the competition inside and that makes him push hard. Because of this, Moya continues to fear that his pursuit of excellence could lead to him overdoing it and sustaining a new injury that could prove fatal. “It’s difficult to make him understand that he can’t demand as much from the start as he’s used to because he’s a competitive animal. A lot of our work was to stop him training, limit his hours and the intensity of training on the pitch. My biggest fear is how he will be able to cope with the stress of the games, it’s not easy to go from training to the race.”
The last few weeks of training were very positive. Arthur Fils trained with him and confessed that he found him very competitive… “Rafa came to the conclusion that he could not get back to a good level of competition, but now he is convinced that he can do it again. He follows the correct progression, which is a process in which he has to go through the individual phases little by little. We have to play and get into a rhythm.”
The destination for Nadal is clear: Paris. “Roland Garros is still six months away and there are many uncertainties to be resolved, but it is clear that he would be happy to do well there, it is his favorite tournament.”
All that remains is to wait a few weeks until Nadal returns to the field and see his condition, his body subjected to the stress of the games.