Rafael Nadal

AUSTRALIA ON – Alcaraz, Nadal, Kyrgios and now Korda and others: why are there (already) so many injuries?

AUSTRALIA ON – Alcaraz, Nadal, Kyrgios and now Korda and others: why are there (already) so many injuries?
Written by nismiste


You should be wary of some statistics that may be misleading. Like the news posted on Twitter this morning by our partner “Jeu, Set et Maths” that Roland-Garros had not been abandoned in the slightest before the quarterfinals at the Australian Open for the first time since 1993. Sebastian Korda’s, who had to throw in the towel due to stage and wrist injury.

That’s noticeable, that’s true. However, this is not an abstract sign that the general condition of the troops is good. Far from it. At a time when the body needs to be fresh and ready, we have rarely seen, or even rarely, seen so much physical damage from the first Grand Slam of the year among the best in the world. This Australian Open 2023 was shaping up to be a tough generational duel between the two-headed hydra Djokovic-Nadal and the warriors of unbridled youth. Especially for now, it’s turning into an infirmary competition.

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The first soldier to quit, and most notably: world number 1 Carlos Alcaraz, who injured his right hip during full training in Australia. This left his “former” compatriot Rafael Nadal in a better position to defend his title, with the apron recovered from the N.1 seed in any case. However, Rafa was also injured. Foot ? Are they bellies? No, this time the iliopsoas muscle (left side) started whistling during the second-round defeat to American Mackenzie McDonald. The result: a six to eight week break and a possible improvement in clay court season.

Admittedly, Spanish tennis players have never been the best defenders of their bodies. But they’re not the only ones in Melbourne with an enlarged spleen. Among the top players, many others have appeared on the court (spleen): Nick Kyrgios’ knee was too bland (surgery and lost), Casper Ruud’s stomach was strained (parted by Jenson in round 2 by Brooksby), Sebastian with a bloodless ankle Korda (retired, as we said against Khachanov). Not forgetting, of course, Novak Djokovic and the Serb’s disintegrated hip, despite looking much better for a few days.

Djokovic reassuring about his health: “I didn’t feel anything today”

Moutet will be operated on

On the French side, we are not left out, as Serbian coach Petar Popovic told us this morning, as Corentin Moutet broke the tendon in his right wrist and will be operated on for an indefinite absence next Monday. Constant Lestienne played shoulderless and therefore no serve.

Obviously, the problem of injury in senior tennis is actually not new. There, however, the number of casualties (and especially, perhaps, their identities) is defiant. Toni Nadal, as he often does, rang the alarm bells in a column published a few days ago. El Pais.

The problem has been around for a long time. However, nothing is being done to reduce the intensity of the rallies. (Toni Nadal)

“Once again, I regret that the leaders have not done anything for so long to protect the players in a discipline that has become so aggressive.wrote Rafael’s uncle in the Spanish daily. It seems that no one wants to slow down the speed of the ball, which reduces the tactical dimension, instead subjecting the corps to more brutality to keep the ball in play. The problem has been obvious for a long time. But nothing is being done to reduce the intensity of the rallies.”

However, many players – to be exact – condemned the slowness of the ball used in Melbourne this year, for example… Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, who also warned that there is a risk of matches being long this year, that it is not better for organisations. One might also wonder if there is a correlation between the bullet in question and the large number of injuries observed.

“No, it’s not really relevant, I personally think the balls are of very good quality.He believes in Moutet’s new coach Petar Popovic. These are different conditions for each player. Simply put, injuries are quite normal in high-level sports, and especially tennis, where the competition is huge. In a five-set match, everyone is pushing their bodies to their limits, even going beyond their limits, which is certainly good for the audience but a shock for the bodies. We need to do longer sessions to prepare for this. And here comes the break…

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Next, everyone has their own way of managing their injury and, above all, communicating it. Some keep it until the end. Others talk about it more naturally. And in the middle of it all, we have a somewhat in-between Novak Djokovic, who clearly needs casting, which undoubtedly corresponds to his impressive, even theatrical aspect, while at the same time developing a kind of mystery. he complies with his obligations as a favourite.

All this earned him a lot of criticism and suspicion, but in the end, not much has changed at the root of the problem: today, players who do not improve without the slightest pain are rare, and perhaps even nonexistent. It’s as if in 2023 tennis it has become a kind of fatalism, almost a kind of normality one could write. But as Toni Nadal said, maybe it shouldn’t be…

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