The reigning U.S. Open champion, Rafael Nadal, will be in the court sleeveless for the first time in six years. And it is expected that tickets to this year’s Open will double.
Nike confirmed Monday that the Spanish tennis star will return to the court. This comes after much speculation on whether he will participate or not.
Nadal was well known for his sleeveless shirts during the early years of his career but he abandoned the look during the Australian Open in 2009.
Nadal said he will decide latest Saturday whether he will be in the court to defend the title he won last year against Novak Djokovic.
He suffered a wrist injury that he is still recovering from. “My dream is being there and I will work for it,” he said.
Nadal panned to see his doctors in Barcelona today for final examination on his right wrist where there was a slight fracture. It is this examination that will determine his fate.
“If it has healed I’ll have to try and see how I feel when I train and Friday or at latest Saturday a decision will be made”, Nadal said in Manacor at the inauguration of a paddle and tennis club on the Island of Majorca.
His wrist has remained immobile since he got the injury at the end of July and this is not good for his preparations.
“When you have a part of your body immobile for a while your muscles become weaker and you need time to get back to your former condition,” Nadal said when he was being interviewed by IB3 a Mallorca-based TV station.
“I am going to try as hard as possible to recover, but all I can do is wait for the news of when I can get back into training,” he said while referring to the examination he is supposed to undergo today.
What is now standing between him and the U.S. Open is the result of the tests that he has to undergo.
“After the tests, I will know if I have improved or whether I have to wait a bit more. If the tests show I have improved, then I will have to try to see how much it hurts when I try and hit backhands,” he said.
The U.S. Open begins on August 25 and Nadal feels time is very short but he hopes it will be enough for training.
“If I have the chance to compete, then obviously I am going to make an effort, but we have to realize that we only have a week and a half and that does not leave a lot of time and I can’t play if I can’t hit a backhand,” he added.
His wrist got hurt during a training session in Manacor. This made him to miss the masters 1000 tournament in Toronto and also the Western and Southern Open currently going on in Cincinnati, U.S. The master 100 tournament ended this weekend.
Playing in sleeveless shirts had become like his brand but some believe having sleeves make him perform better. They say that he had only won one non-clay major while wearing a sleeveless shirt; that was in 2008 in Wimbledon. But with sleeves won three of his next five non-clay Slams.
One can just wonder how adding a sleeve on a shirt can make someone to win. Well, there is no logical explanation for that.
Now that Nadal will be going to the court sleeveless, will this affect his performance? It may not be easy to tell.