Former world No. 1 Rafael Nadal spoke with Formula 1 star Nico Rosberg about mental obstacles and the challenges an athlete faces. Nadal is a 20-time Grand Slam champion but many believe he would have many more if not for knee and foot issues that have plagued him throughout his entire career.
"I think everybody has some problems,” Nadal explained to Rosberg, per Tennishead. “And especially sports people who bring the mental and physical parts [of themselves] to the limit. “When you get a bit older, the feelings are different in all terms.
But at the same time, even today, I had a very tough period of time in terms of my foot injury. “So I need to come back hopefully by the beginning of next year”.
Nadal put an end to his 2021 season in August due to a foot issue but he is hoping to be fully ready for the start of the 2022 season.
"Of course I’m going to have some doubts, but I know the process, I have been there plenty of times,” Nadal continued regarding his recovery. “It’s true that every time as you get older it gets more difficult [to recover] but I am very excited by the process and by the things that I have to do to try to be back.
“So, even with doubts, I am confident that if I am able to play without much pain, I will have my chances”. Former world No. 1 Jim Courier believes Nadal is still the top favorite for the French Open title. "And for Rafa how he is going to respond, how his foot is going to respond after sitting out a lot this season trying to fix that after it went out on him at Roland Garros.
He is still the favorite at Roland Garros. Slighlty, slightly over Novak — assuming they are both healthy. And Novak is probably the favorite everywhere else — certainly at Wimbledon," Courier said on Tennis Channel.